Greek Bean & Lentil Soups
Greek Bean Soup
In Greece this soup is mainly served in winter with hearty bread, olives and hard boiled eggs. I also like to serve some Feta cheese, alongside or crumbled over soup, however during Lent the cheese and egg are always omitted!
In any case, this is a delicious, hearty and nutritious soup that is easy to make . . . and a truly healthy choice! I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!
340g (3/4 lb) canellini beans
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 big onion - finely chopped
1 cup finely sliced carrots
1 cup finely diced celery stalks
1/4 cup celery leaves
1 x 410g (14 ½ oz ) tin stewed tomatoes
10 cups water
1 tblsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
Blanched, coarsely chopped celery for garnish (optional)
Soak beans overnight in cold water. Drain off water, rinse well and put into a large soup pot with enough water to cover beans.
Bring to boil and let simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes. Drain off water and set parboiled beans aside.
In another soup pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the finely chopped onion. Add the carrots, celery, celery leaves stewed tomatoes and bay leaves. Add canellini beans and 10 cups water.
Cover pot with lid, bring to boil, then lower heat and cook slowly for about an hour and a half or until beans are tender. Add tomato paste and season with salt and pepper. Mix carefully.
If needed, thicken the soup by pureeing some beans, add to soup, stir and bring to boil.
Serve warm and garnished with chopped celery.
Yield: 6 large main meal servings
If you have any left overs, either refrigerate for up to 3 days or place in freezer. In any case, I always think this soup is better when re-heated.
I sometimes add slices of spicy village sausages or a few pieces of smoked pork to the soup which makes gives it a slight smokey taste . . . . and much more filling! If Greek spicy sausages are not available in your area, Chorizo type sausages are just as good!
© KaritasM – February 2018
Fakkes - Greek Lentil Soup
Another truly healthy choice, this soup is served warm, garnished with coarsely chopped red onions. Traditionally, crusty bread, olives and extra red wine vinegar are served to the side. Again, I like a nice slice of Feta cheese with this soup but . . . never during Lent!
This recipe is a big one but since this soup freezes really well I feel I save time by doing a whole recipe . . . freezing it in one meal portions so I always have it handy for re-heating!
680g (1 ½ lbs) brown lentils
3/4 cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
2 big onions – finely grated
3 – 4 garlic cloves – finely chopped
2 big carrots scraped – cut in half
2 stalks celery with leaves – cut into 3 pieces
4 bay leaves
20 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
Coarsely chopped red onion
Red wine vinegar to taste
Rinse the lentils well and put them into a large soup pot. Cover with cold water and bring to boil. Drain off the water and throw it away. Set lentils aside.
In another soup pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic. Add the lentils, carrots and celery stalks, bay leaves and all the water. Cover pot and bring to boiling point. Lower heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until lentils are tender.
Remove carrots and celery and place in blender with about 2 – 3 cups of lentil soup. Puree and add back to soup. Mix carefully and bring soup to boiling point. The puree will thicken the soup and give it more flavor. Add a bit more water should the soup become too thick. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve warm.
Yield: 12 main meal servings
This recipe is quite a big one, but the soup freezes very well!
For tips on how to cook lentils please tap on this link that will take you to my blog post: Versatile-Nutritious-Lentils
© KaritasM February 2018