This old mediterranean recipe of soup of haricot beans, originally the traditional food of Greeks called ‘fasolada’, can be made into a full meal with the inclusion of bread.

Beans and bread make up a good combination providing complete proteins.

Τhe addition of onion and garlic, herbs, spices and tomatoes make this soup a very nutritious food.

Remember to chop the onions at least 10 minutes before you cook them, so that they keep their therapeutic properties.

In contrast, the more you cook tomatoes and carrots the more nutritious they become!

If you have some (or if you are from Kozani in Greece where they grow it!) add a pinch of saffron (κρόκο). It will give extra colour and aroma to the soup and make it an even more ‘anti-inflammatory food’, which is what we need to feel young and healthy.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pinch of dried oregano

1 teaspoon of paprika

200g copped canned tomatoes with juice / or diced beef tomatoes

100g haricot beans, soaked overnight (will double in volume)

1.5 l water

¼ of lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Don’t let them get colour. Stir in paprika and oregano and cook until fragrant, for about one minute more.

Add beans and half of the water, bring to the boil on rapid fire, reduce the heat, close the lid and let it simmer for 30 minutes. Check the volume of liquid every 10 minutes, add the rest of the water.

Add the tomatoes when beans are cooked half-way through; acidity will harden the outer shell of the bean if added straight away.

Season, add 2 slices of lemon, simmer until the beans are soft.

When you serve the soup in the bowl, drizzle with olive oil and a bit of lemon juice over it. Serve with bread and olives.