Almost Instant Greek Bean Soup

Quick Tip: Bean soups take forever to make mostly because one has to soak dried beans overnight before pre-cooking them for use. To make this almost instant Greek classic, look for good quality, low-sodium canned beans, preferably organic.

20 min
35 min


  • cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 3 medium onions halved and cut into thin slices
  • 1 chili pepper seeded and chopped
  • 2 celery ribs trimmed and chopped (with leaves)
  • 2 large carrots peeled, cut in half lengthwise and then into ¼ inch half moon slices
  • 2 cans cannellini or kidney beans or both, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 3 plum tomatoes peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Greek sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1-4 Tbsp strained fresh lemon juice or sherry vinegar


  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large soup pot and saute the onions and chopped chili pepper over medium-low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onions begin to caramelize for 10-12 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the beans to the pot, toss to coat, and pour in the water and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce flame and simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes, until the beans are completely soft.
  3. Add the tomatoes. Ten minutes before removing from heat, add the parsley and season with salt and pepper. When the beans are done, pour in the remaining olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar. Serve hot.

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