- Soak the beans overnight, then drain.
- Place the beans in a large saucepan with 1.25 litres water and bring to the boil.
- Add the garlic, onion, chilli, tomatoes, oregano, bay leaves and half of the parsley.
- Cover and simmer for 1½–2 hours or until the beans are tender, adding a little hot water if the soup seems too thick. Add the remaining parsley and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Just before serving, stir in the olive oil, season with salt and black pepper and serve hot, with lemon wedges on the side.
Similar to the well-known Greek fassolada, this soup was adopted by Jews all over Greece, who often served it for the Sabbath lunch, since it could be cooked very slowly overnight.
This recipe comes from Thessaloniki, where they like to spike the soup with chilli. It is usually made with large white beans called gigantes. If they are unavailable, cannellini or butter (lima) beans may be used instead.