Some months ago, we posted a fasolatha recipe and some people questioned, “Where’s the tomato?”. At the time, we explained that there are in fact, two broad categories of this traditional Greek bean soup; the one we originally posted, which has no tomato and has a light broth (λευκή), and this version, with a rich tomato base. Both are delicious, nutritious and incredibly easy to put together.
Imagine a rustic home in a remote, mountainous village in Greece, far removed from the perils of modern life. The goats wander free in the fields and the sky is so close that the tops of the olive trees seem to kiss it. Days are spent cultivating the land, conversing with the few neighbours you have, and tending to the animals. The air is fresh and the ground fertile; both untainted by social progress. After a long day of physical, yet satisfying and productive work, you come home to a steaming bowl of fasolatha, which has been cooking in a cast iron pot in the hearth of your fireplace. If you are particularly lucky, you get to enjoy it with some freshly baked bread and a glass of homemade wine. Life, you surmise, is perfect.
Now, we realize that if you are reading this post you are doing so on-line, in front of an electronic device, and are probably not in a remote, mountainous horio (that’s Greek, for village). Neither are we, but for some reason this recipe makes us think that we should be. Maybe it’s because this simple soup asks that you throw everything into a pot and let it cook slowly for about an hour, giving you enough time to, we don’t know, till the soil? Maybe it’s the fact that there is nothing fancy here; no special, expensive ingredients and no complicated culinary terms. It is humble, the way we imagine village life to be. Simple, honest, and so, so good for you.