Recipe

Greek-Style Bean Soup

by Sasha Marx

This recipe was created to highlight the remarkable brown tepary bean (The Magical Fruit), but also works well with kidney beans. Drought-resistant tepary beans are native to the American southwest and northern Mexico but may become more widespread, as agriculture will have to adapt to the effects of climate change in the near future. If that’s the case, I figure it’s high time we start developing recipes using tepary beans. Brown tepary beans, when dried, are small and flat and look a bit more like lentils than common beans. With that visual similarity in mind, I decided to try substituting them for lentils in a take on the traditional Greek faki soupa, one of my favorite versions of lentil soup. After testing different soaking and cooking methods, I determined that soaking the beans overnight in water with a little salt and baking soda before simmering reduced the cooking time and yielded especially tender, creamy beans. Both salt and baking soda work to weaken cell-wall structure; the alkalinity of baking soda helps dissolve hemicelluloses, and sodium displaces magnesium, which facilitates the dissolving of cell-wall pectins. However, the baking soda also weakens the cell-wall structure of the other vegetables in the soup. In order to maintain the texture of the vegetables, I sauté them separately and add them to the pot partway through cooking. In keeping with the Greek dish that inspired this recipe, the soup is finished with a healthy splash of red wine vinegar and some fresh parsley to brighten things up.

Yield
Serves 4 to 6
SFS_TeparyBeanFaki-37_20_3_.jpg
Ingredients
3 g plus 1.5 g kosher salt, divided
1 g baking soda
1800 g water
250 g brown tepary beans, picked over and rinsed
50 g plus 25 g extra-virgin olive oil, divided
300 g onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
150 g carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
75 g celery, cut into ½-inch pieces
10 g garlic (2 cloves), chopped fine
450 g vegetable broth
20 g tomato paste
1 g bay leaves (2 leaves)
35 g red wine vinegar
15 g fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 teaspoon plus ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
¼ teaspoon baking soda
8 cups water
1¼ cups brown tepary beans, picked over and rinsed
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1  onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
2  carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1  celery rib, cut into ½-inch pieces
2  garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2  bay leaves
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Essential Equipment
Instructions
    • 3 g kosher salt
    • 1 g baking soda
    • 1800 g water
    • 250 g brown tepary beans, picked over and rinsed
    Dissolve 3 grams salt and baking soda in water in Dutch oven. Add beans, cover, and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Bring beans (still in soaking liquid) to boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until beans are tender, about 45 minutes. Do not drain beans.
    • 50 g extra-virgin olive oil
    • 300 g onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 150 g carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 75 g celery, cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 10 g garlic (2 cloves), chopped fine
    • 1.5 g kosher salt
    Meanwhile heat 50 grams oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and 1.5 grams salt and cook until onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
    • 450 g vegetable broth
    • 20 g tomato paste
    • 1 g bay leaves (2 leaves)
    • 35 g red wine vinegar
    • Kosher salt
    • 15 g fresh parsley, chopped fine
    • 25 g extra-virgin olive oil
    Add softened vegetables, broth, tomato paste, and bay leaves to pot and stir to combine. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until soup has thickened and flavors have melded, about 30 minutes. Off heat, stir in vinegar and season with salt to taste. Divide soup among warmed bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and drizzle with 25 grams oil. Soup’s up.
Instructions
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    • 8 cups water
    • 1¼ cups brown tepary beans, picked over and rinsed
    Dissolve 1 teaspoon salt and baking soda in water in Dutch oven. Add beans, cover, and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Bring beans (still in soaking liquid) to boil over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to surface. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until beans are tender, about 45 minutes. Do not drain beans.
    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 1 celery rib, cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
    Meanwhile heat 1/4 cup oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Stir in onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until onion is translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
    • 2 cups vegetable broth
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    • Kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    Add softened vegetables, broth, tomato paste, and bay leaves to pot and stir to combine. Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until soup has thickened and flavors have melded, about 30 minutes. Off heat, stir in vinegar and season with salt to taste. Divide soup among warmed bowls, sprinkle with parsley, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil. Soup’s up.
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