Fasolada, a rich and nourishing bean soup recipe is the perfect dish for mountaineering, and perfect for vegetarians and vegans in mountaneous regions of Greece where pure vegetarian dishes sometimes can be hard to find...
After climbing Mount Olympos (-yes I am very proud!) and staying overnight in the refuge camp before the final climb to "Mitikas", the top, was the occasion that for me epitomized the Fasolada, the Greek bean soup recipe.
Hot, steamy, nourishing and healing (you wish!) tired and sore limbs from climbing all day, and preparing you for the final climb early next morning.
This is a recipe from my mother- and grand mother-in-law, who came from Kalavrita, a mountain village in Peloponnese.
Wash the beans thoroughly and soak in plenty of water overnight. The next day drain them, put in a large pot and cover with fresh water. When the beans start boiling they will create a foam. Now drain and discard this water, and fill the pot with new fresh water covering the beans with about 1 1/2 inch or 2 fingers of water above them.
Add all the chopped vegetables. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer on medium heat under lid for 1-2 hours. The cooking time depends on the freshness of the beans (the fresher they are the shorter cooking time they need).
When the beans are soft; add the oil, crushed tomato, chili pepper and spices. Simmer for about 10-15 min more to let the flavors blend.
Serve the bean soup Greek style with a tomato-cucumber salad, feta cheese, black olives, crusty bread and a glass of red wine.
Kali orexi! Good appetite!