[edit: there seems to be a stage missing! I think I know where...it's now in red below]
Bit later than promised but here is the recipe for my version of phasoulada. Following the principles of my Big Fat Greek Cookbook the weights, measures and times are somewhat vague but we are not trying to land on the moon so it should be ok.
A pack of those big white beans – a pound??
2 cups or so of olive oil
A small mound (say a handful) of fresh chopped parsley
3 onions finely chopped
1 or 2 tins of tomatoes
1 grated carrot
Some grated celery (optional)
Wash the beans and put them in a pot of water to soak overnight.
The next day wash the beans (washing the beans is very important to avoid the “wayward winds” effect), put them in a pot with water and bring to a boil. (It is a matter of debate in our household whether to put a tiny pinch of salt in at this point or not. There is a theory that adding salt here means the beans won’t go soft – but I am not sure! Try it one time with and one time without.)
As soon as they come to a boil pour out the water [here I think you have to boil the beans for a good hour before the next bit comes!], wash the beans in cold water again, put them into a pot or a deepish frying pan with the oil, onions, parsley.
Season with pepper and a tiny pinch of salt.
Fry gently and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the onions go a bit transparent and the beans get a little colour to them.
Add two cups of hot water, cover the pot and leave on a low heat to simmer for about an hour.
Then stir in the tomatoes, a hefty squeeze of tomato purée, the grated carrot and celery, cover again and leave it to simmer again.
Here my book says, “simmer until it is done”… but I must beg to differ. I would say leave it to simmer for an hour or so. Towards the end check the seasoning….maybe put more salt in and then take the pot off the heat and leave it to stand for a while. That’s when the beans go soft – if ever!!
Then serve with bread to dunk, a slab of feta cheese, any kind of green salad and a bottle of retsina – if you can stand it (I love it!)
All that should serve about 6 people…perhaps more!
I cannot guarantee that you will avoid gassy stomachs etc. But it IS worth it!
Please let me know how it goes!