Sometimes I just can't be bothered. I'm sure we all have moments like that. So when it came to preparing a meal the other night I looked into my trusted pantry and went through a quick rundown of what I could cook. I was craving that famous Greek bean soup known as "fasolada". Again, this was a soup that was featured quite heavily in my childhood years and one that I didn't appreciate until I got older. "Fasolada" is a vegetarian soup and traditionally uses haricot beans as the star. It's flavoured with olive oil, tomatoes, celery and carrots. You get the idea. Ideally eaten in times of Lent, it's quite a filler. And full of fibre. So back to the pantry...I had run out of haricot beans and I wanted to satisfy my hunger quickly. So I opted to use a few cans of cannellini beans I have for these types of emergencies.
Man did this do the trick! Whilst it isn't your traditional Greek "fasolada" it comes pretty close. It's my lazy way to prepare it. Whilst I enjoy eating a lot of beans I must admit the whole preparation of them can be quite annoying. And I'm primarily talking about the soaking part. The soup came out a little thicker than I expected but that could easliy be rectified by adding more stock or water. Again, I really don't have a set recipe as such for this. Like I explained, I threw in what I found in my pantry and used up a few leftover vegies in the fridge. The other thing I added was some chopped up smoked bacon that just screamed to be used with this dish. Beans + bacon are just perfect together. Don't forget also that because the cannellini beans are canned, they don't need that much time cooking on the stove. I had three portions leftover and I froze them for my next emergency!
In a large pot fry off some diced smoked bacon in a little olive oil. Once it has gotten crispy add a finely diced onion and some crushed garlic. Cook until translucent. Add two cans of cannellini beans, give everything a good stir and add two cups of chicken stock. Throw in some chopped chunks of carrot and some chopped celery. Add about one and a half cups of passata, salt, pepper and a few bay leaves. Let it come to a quick boil and then lower the heat to medium and let everything cook 30-45 mins. I had some leftover parsley and stirred that through at the last minute. Serve immediately with some crusty bread and some extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top of the soup.