auntie Loulla

Here is my Auntie Loulla’s delicious Greek bean soup recipe. Loulla owns the award winning Greek restaurant Kosmos in Manchester and has shared many of her recipes on TV over the years.

Greek Bean Soup (Fassolatha)


This soup is regarded as one of the national dishes of Greece and is utterly delicious, bursting with flavour and healthy too being a perfect vegetarian and vegan option.

There are often debates as to the proper method of making this soup-should you or shouldn’t you use oregano is a matter of opinion, (well I do).

The Athenians take this dish very seriously holding annual competitions amongst the high society as to who makes the best soup. Trophies are awarded to the winners.

This big, hefty soup, which is substantial enough to be a meal in itself, especially when accompanied by olives, Feta cheese, salted fish, raw onion and bread.

Good olive oil is essential for the preparation of this soup too.

(Serves 4-­6)

  • 225g (8oz) dried cannelline or white kidney beans,
  • soaked in water overnight
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 100ml (1⁄2 cup) virgin olive oil
  • juice if 1⁄2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and black pepper to taste


Drain the soaked beans and place in a large saucepan. Cover with fresh water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain again to remove the toxins from the beans. Cover once again with fresh water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients except the seasoning (salt will prevent the beans from softening). Cover the pan and continue to simmer until the beans are tender adding more water if needed.

Season to taste and serve in large bowls garnished with chopped parsley and a swirl of good virgin olive oil.

N.B. Many people find that the flavour of this soup improves if eaten the following day.

Do also join Loulla’s private Facebook Group which has thousands of members: Loulla’s Recipe Share.

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16 Responses

  1. Fiona @ Free Range Chick

    I made it! I needed it the second I saw the picture. I made mine spicy with chilli flakes in it – I like hot food when I’m ill. It was scrumptious, especially with bread dipped in olive oil. I made it for mum and I this morning. Have you tagged this as vegetarian and vegan, Vicki? X

    • honestmum

      SO glad you made it lovely, I love chilli with everything too and great tip, off to add tags and a mention on that fact now, thanks and hope you feel better x


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