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Fasolada
(Greek White Bean Soup-Stew)

1 1/2 cups white beans (gigandes, Great Northern, navy, cannellini or large limas),
picked over, rinsed, soaked overnight and well drained
2 bay leaves
8 cups water
2 carrots, sliced into
1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
1 can (14.5 oz) chopped plum tomatoes with juice
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried oregano (optional)
1-2 tsp dried mint (optional)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp minced fresh parley
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Place the beans, bay leaves and water in a large soup pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

2. Add carrots, onion, garlic and celery; simmer another 30 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano and/or mint, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste (try starting with 1 tsp salt). Simmer until beans are soft and creamy, but not quite disintegrating (30 minutes more).

3. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Adjust seasonings to taste; serve warm or at room temperature, with parsley and drizzle of extra olive oil. Good with crusty bread and sautéed slices of haloumi cheese.

Serves 6. Analysis per serving: 326 calories, 13g protein, 13g fat (2g saturated), 16g fiber, 42g carbohydrate, 445 mg sodium

Reprinted with permission from Bean by Bean: A Cookbook by
Crescent Dragonwagon
(Workman, February; preorder at www.amazon.com)

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