White Bean Soup

White Bean Soup, My Big Fat Greek Cookbook, Photography by Christos Sourligas

White Bean Soup, My Big Fat Greek Cookbook, Photography by Christos Sourligas

My Big Fat Greek Cookbook is a comprehensive, contemporary overview of Greek food, recipes, and family culture as documented by the son of a Greek immigrant as his mother neared the end of her life. “This Greek eating tragedy has a beginning (appetizer), a middle (main course), and an end (dessert),” Christos shared. “As my Mama is in her final act, it’s fitting that a quarter of her recipes are desserts. Bon appétit! Kali Orexi! (Insert the sound of breaking plates here . . .)”

This is more than just a list of ingredients or series of steps, of course. It’s filled with simple recipes, gorgeous photographs, traditional meals, memories, and tidbits of information that draw family and friends to Greek tables time and again.

It has everything from iconic egg-lemon sauce to rich soups, sweet pies, and traditional delicacies like rabbit stew and octopus with pasta, accompanied by tales of Greek history and insight into cultural nuances. Recipes include:

  • Meatballs (keftedes)
  • Lentils (fatkes)
  • Stuffed vegetables (gemistra)
  • Spinach pie (spanakopita)
  • Tzatziki
  • Spaghetti with cheese (makaronia me tyri)
  • Roast lamb (arni sto fourno)
  • Moussaka
  • Apple cake (milopita)
  • Ride pudding (rizogalo)
  • And more!

With beautiful photographs throughout and 65 deliciously authentic recipes, this book is a peek into a Greek family that has achieved what so many of us yearn for: a fuller, more meaningful, and joyful life, lived simply and nourished on real, delicious Greek meals that you can access anywhere with this cookbook on hand.

 

My Big Fat Greek Cookbook

 

 

My Big Fat Greek Cookbook: Classic Mediterranean Soul Food Recipes is available at Amazon.com and Indigo.

 

 


 

White Bean Soup (fasolada)

“Beans, beans, are good for your heart. The more you eat, the more you . . .!” Well, we all know the rest of this silly rhyme. . . . And every time Mama served us bean soup, my siblings and I broke out into song at the dinner table, foolishly thinking our folks couldn’t understand a word in English. A swift slap against the back of the head kept us honest—at least until the next time this dish was served. Even today, we still sing this childish song whenever fasolada is served, murmuring the tune under our breaths, winking at each other while cautiously wary of those breakneck-speed backhanders. There’s no denying it: my siblings and I are loutishly asinine. And this fasolada recipe is sinfully delicious. Caution: Just don’t sing at the dinner table.
Prep: 10 min | Cook: 2 h | Ready in: 2 h 10min | Serves: 6

18 ounces (500 grams) dry white beans (medium size)

3 medium carrots
4 medium celery sticks
2 medium onions
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

1½ cups tomato juice

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a colander, wash the dry white beans, then add into a large stockpot. Pour in warm water, covering the beans by about 2 to 3 inches. Stir in the baking soda, and soak overnight; this causes the beans to expand and soften.
  2. Chop the carrots, celery, and onions into ½-inch bits.
  3. Bring the beans (only) to a hard boil. Partially cover the pot, lowering the heat to medium-high, then boil for an additional 20 minutes (or until the beans begin to split open).
  4. Now, toss in the carrots, celery, and onions and stir. Increase the heat, bringing the pot back to a boil. Once the soup reaches the boiling point, lower the heat back to medium-high. Pour in the olive and vegetable oils, and toss in the salt and pepper. Stir, then partially cover the pot. Be mindful to feed the soup with additional hot water from a boiling kettle, if required. Stir occasionally.
  5. Cook for 45 minutes, then pour in the tomato juice and mix. Continue to simmer for additional 30 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe reprinted with permission from Skyhorse Publishing.

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