If I have celery, the first thing that comes to mind is usually apple, celery and pecan salad. The second thing is always fasolada. Or fasolia soupa, or fasulye, or whatever you decide to call it.
This is my quick store cupboard version. Tinned cannellini beans, basic veg, no fresh onions as they tend to ferment and I like to keep this on the stove to top dip into as I fancy. Of course you can put it in the fridge, but in our house the fridge can sometimes become the land that time forgot. Plus space in there is limited!
2 tins white beans, drained – keep 1 empty tin
3 tbs crispy fried onions (the kind from a packet)*
2 stalks of celery plus as many of the leaves as you can get** – finely sliced
1 large carrot cut into chunks or coins or however you like it -yes, you can use frozen too
1 tbs tomato paste
salt – this depends on your taste, but it does need salt
Olive oil – GOOD olive oil, none of this light nonsense.
Heat at least 3 tbs olive oil gently in a stock pot on the stove.
Add in the celery, onions and carrot.
Cook and stir until they are all coated in the oil, then cook on a low heat until the vegetables start to soften.
Add in the tomato paste, and stir in very well. Let it caramelise a little.
Pour in 2 bean tins of water.
Let that lot simmer away until the veg is all cooked then tip in the beans.
Technically this is done as soon as the beans are hot all the way through but I like to simmer it and reduce it down. The longer you cook it, the better it is. And yes, it is even better the next day.
Taste it, and definitely add salt (and pepper if you want to.)
Serve with bread, extra oil, lemon juice to zing it up a bit if you fancy, feta, olives…
*I love using the dried onions, as a) no tears b) they add a bit more seasoning and c) the buggers don’t sprout in the cupboard.
** I put my celery in water as soon as I get it, so it will grow more leaves.