White Bean Soup with Wild Celery - Fassolada
This is an old no tomatoes version of the classic Greek soup (see variation). Greek selino is very different from the American or northern European celery. When you find it, buy it in quantity, wash it, coarsely chop it and keep it in zipperlock bags in the freezer to use as needed.
- 2 cups dried white beans, soaked overnight in water and drained
- 2 onions, halved, one half thinly sliced in half-moons
- 2 cups coarsely chopped wild celery
- 2 medium carrots, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
In a large pot, place the beans and the 3 onion halves and add water to cover by 4 inches.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes.
Add the sliced onion, celery, carrot and salt and simmer for 20 to 40 minutes more, adding a little more water if needed, until tender.
Add the lemon juice and black pepper to taste and simmer for 10 minutes more, or until the beans are just covered with broth.
Transfer 1 cup of the soup to a blender (avoiding the onion half) and puree.
Return the puree to the pot and cook for 2 minutes more.
Remove from the heat and discard the onion halves.
Stir in the oil and sprinkle with the Aleppo pepper or pepper flakes, if desired.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, sprinkle with the parsley, if you like, and serve hot.