Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bean Soup (Fasolada)

Since my husband is a Greek Orthodox Christian, and Orthodox Easter is on this coming Sunday, my husband and I decided not to eat any meat this week. Traditionally, people observe the Great Lent in which they are supposed not to eat any meat or animal products. Also olive oil, seafood and wine are restricted during this period.
Luckily I found fresh baby green Lima beans in a local market, so I decided to make Greek bean soup. This is one of the simplest Greek dishes, yet, an ultimate dish to be proved that you are a good cook.
Lima beans are rich in soluble fiber, which helps to reduce high cholesterol. If you do not eat meat, they are a very good source of protein and iron.
I am not a big fan of bean soup. However, I admit I loved today’s soup. My husband was especially amazed how authentic the flavor was. Probably, it was because the Lima beans were fresh. Or maybe because I am a good cook ;) or we were just too hungry?

Ingredients (4 to 5 servings):
1 lb Lima beans (Either fresh or dried are fine. Dried Lima beans should be soaked overnight.)
1 chopped onion
3 cups diced tomatoes
3 chopped carrots
3 stalks of chopped celery
2 tbsp tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cloves of garlic
1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Place all of the ingredients except the parsley and olive oil in a large pot and add water till the ingredients are covered.
2. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Then, lower the heat and continue to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Add water if necessary.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Add the parsley and the olive oil and turn off the heat. Cover and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot!

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