Greek White Bean Soup with Orange Slices and Olive Oil (Fasolada)

Traditional White Bean Soup. Recipe by Koula Barydakis.  Intro by Bill Bradley, R.D.

My first experience with white bean soup, one of my favorite Mediterranean Diet recipes, was in the old town of Chania on the Greek island of Crete.  I was renting an apartment above a Native American store (yes, it’s true) and I had been introduced to a woman in her 80’s who lived across the street.  One day, she brought me some of  the national dish of Greece: White bean soup.  Beans are the number one protein eaten in the Mediterranean and white bean soup is the number one bean dish eaten in Greece.  This woman who brought me the soup made it the traditional way; beans made from scratch; lots of olive oil; bay leaves and slices of dried orange.  The next day I brought her some chocolate covered oranges and then we traded foods back in forth for the rest of the time I lived on the island.

This version of the soup is quicker as it uses canned beans.  Instead of dried orange slices we throw in a few slices of fresh orange.  It is simple to make, but once it is done, it still has the flavor of the original.

White bean soup is great for lunch or dinner.  It is often eaten with a Greek salad, crusty bread and some wine.  The soup is vegan and if you want to keep your meal vegan then serve with a simple salad topped with Greek dressing.  It also goes well with sautéed swiss chard or spinach with feta and lemon.

From “Foods of Crete: Traditional Recipes from the Healthiest People in the World” by Koula Barydakis and Bill Bradley, R.D.  Purchase in the Mediterranean Living Shop.

For more Mediterranean Diet recipes and information download our 7 day Mediterranean Diet Meal Plan.

Mediterranean Diet Recipes: White Bean Soup Fasolada

Greek White Bean Soup with Orange Slices and Olive Oil (Fasolada)

4.64 from 47 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 505 kcal


  • 4 large carrots, sliced thin
  • 5 celery sticks, sliced thin
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 slices orange (skin and flesh)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 15 ounces cannellini (white) beans 4 cans
  • 2 cups water


  • Sauté carrots, celery, and onion in olive oil on medium heat until soft. Add oregano and bay leaf.
  • Add orange slices and tomato paste. Sauté for 2 minutes
  • Add Cannellini beans, 2 cans with liquid, 2 cans drained. Add 2 cups water.
  • Simmer for 30-40 minutes until soup thickens, stirring occasionally.


Calories: 505kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 16gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 20gSodium: 69mgPotassium: 1141mgFiber: 12gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 5182IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 177mgIron: 7mg
Have you tried this recipe? Tell us about it!Click here to rate this recipe in the comments section below.
About the Author: Koula Barydakis
Koula Barydakis was born into a long tradition of eating and living Mediterranean on the Greek island of Crete. She is a chef who has worked in many of the top restaurants in Crete and in Greek Town in Toronto, Canada. Koula is the co-author of “Foods of Crete, Traditional Recipes of the Healthiest People in the World” and is currently completing her second cookbook. Koula teaches cooking classes to tourists in Crete and has been hired to teach classes in other countries as well.


  1. Vicki October 25, 2023 at 7:36 am - Reply

    5 stars
    I made this recipe and was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was. My husband liked it also and he is usually very picky. I didn’t drain the juice from the beans and added a little less water. I am very motivated to try this plan I want to make it a lifestyle change and not so much a diet.

  2. Vicki October 17, 2023 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    I have not tried this yet it sounds delicious. I was just wondering why you drain the beans. It makes since to me to use the liquid as well. Wouldn’t it be more flavorful than adding water?? I am going to try this and let you know. I am very inspired to try this plan since I need to change how I eat.

  3. Jennifer October 15, 2023 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Do you sauté the vegies in the 1 cup of oil? Or in a little and add the rest later on in recipe?

    • Winter LeBlanc October 19, 2023 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      Either way works!

  4. Megan October 9, 2023 at 2:19 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I loved this recipe! It’s super satisfying. Just curious as to what a serving side would be?

    • Winter LeBlanc October 19, 2023 at 12:20 pm - Reply

      An authentic greek salad would be a nice side for this recipe.

  5. Brant March 4, 2023 at 2:50 am - Reply

    Making this right now. Just added the beans and water. I’m amazed how bright the broth is. I’m using Great Northern Beans though. It’s what I had available. Can’t wait to try it.

  6. Sadie September 28, 2022 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    Do you eat the oranges or do you take them out like a bay leaf?

    • Winter LeBlanc September 30, 2022 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Take them out as you go. For leftovers, I usually leave them in for a few days but after that the skins will make the soup bitter.

  7. Donna September 17, 2022 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    What is a serving size? Thanks!

  8. MICHAEL TRENT June 18, 2022 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    How about adding garlic?

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. June 20, 2022 at 10:02 am - Reply

      You could add garlic, but it might compete with the citrusy flavor of the oranges.

  9. Orri May 18, 2022 at 9:25 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Very good, it is very smooth and delicious! Thank you.

  10. Mary March 12, 2022 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    5 stars

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. March 14, 2022 at 7:03 am - Reply

      Thank you!

  11. Tamara Howell March 12, 2022 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Made this today and absolutely loved it! I added the slightest bit of sea salt, but in my opinion it needs nothing else!

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. March 14, 2022 at 7:03 am - Reply

      Glad you liked it!

  12. LynR February 24, 2022 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    3 stars
    I liked it, I made according to the recipe. Husband said it needed ham, I thought it needed something. I intend to use this as a base for other soups or stews if allowed on this diet.

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. February 27, 2022 at 7:44 am - Reply

      My guess is it may have needed some salt.

  13. Mike February 9, 2022 at 8:01 pm - Reply

    Approximately how much is a serving (for those of us counting calories). Thanks

  14. George February 9, 2022 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Perfect, I’m 100% Greek!?♥️
    I was raised on this Soupa!

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. February 12, 2022 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      Thanks George! Glad you liked it!

  15. Kim January 4, 2022 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    Is one cup of olive oil correct? Or is that a typo? Thanks

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. January 15, 2022 at 11:14 am - Reply

      No, not a mistake. This is a traditional recipe from the Mediterranean. I would try it and see how you like it. I also use this recipe for weight loss because it is so filling. If you really don’t want to use 1 cup then try 1/2 cup.

  16. Lynn November 13, 2021 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Can this be made in a slow cooker?

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. November 18, 2021 at 12:22 pm - Reply

      Hi Lynn, This could definitely be made in the slow cooker, but I haven’t tried it yet. Let me know if you do and how it comes out! -Bill

    • Julie C February 22, 2023 at 5:45 pm - Reply

      5 stars
      I just finished making the soup and letting it sit until dinner time, I walked out side for a moment and when I came back in it smelled so beautiful in the house. I can’t wait to try it with some of that sourdough bread I bought. Weight loss journey here I come!

  17. Michel October 28, 2021 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Love this it as such a smooth and comforting taste. It is one of my favorites and so easy to prepare

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. October 29, 2021 at 10:53 am - Reply

      Thanks Michel, This is one of our family’s favorite and most often cooked meals also. Glad you enjoyed it!

  18. Terri Kleen October 19, 2021 at 10:55 am - Reply

    I plan to make this recipe, but have a question about the beans. It says 15oz (4 cans) of beans, but we have cans that are 15oz in size. So would I only use 1 can? Or am I needing 4 – 15oz cans of beans? Thanks so much!

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. October 20, 2021 at 10:40 am - Reply

      Hi Terri,
      It is 4 cans of beans (15 ounces each) or 2 cans of beans that are 29 ounces each.

  19. Colleen October 15, 2021 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    Don’t skip the orange slices!!
    So yummy.

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. October 20, 2021 at 10:46 am - Reply

      Yes, the orange slices make this recipe awesome! Bill

  20. Sian October 10, 2020 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Fantastic soup – my absolute favourite ever. Healthy, satisfying, delicious, inexpensive…thank you!

    • Terry October 20, 2021 at 12:58 pm - Reply

      I’m going to make this soon. So you’re saying to leave the skin on the orange slices?

      • Bill Bradley, R.D. October 21, 2021 at 10:20 am

        Yes, the zest gives it a really awesome citrus flavor. If you have leftovers and are going to store them in the refrigerator or freezer then I would take the cooked slices out as they can make the dish bitter over time.

  21. Rebecca September 3, 2019 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Love this soup. It is quick and easy but tastes like it has simmered for hours. It’s a hit in my family, even with our 6 and 4 year olds!

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. September 4, 2019 at 10:46 am - Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it!

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