Fassoulieh Experiment

Or fasullieh. I’m really not sure how to spell it, and it doesn’t matter because it’s not English. In English, these are Great Northern Beans. These beans absorb flavor really well, so they are great in this dish. They take on the meaty flavor of the marrow bones, and tomatoey flavor from the tomato paste. Serve it over rice, and you have a perfect Shabbat dinner side. Or a nice weeknight meal.

In my family, we often make this dish pareve. We don’t add any meat or bones, just beans, tomato paste, and peeled potatoes. When doing this, it just takes some more boiling and a bit more seasoning, too, to make it just perfect. And a great Thursday night meal. I know some people who make it more like a meaty stew, which is good, but not really what I’m used to with these beans. Basically, with this recipe the possibilities are endless. There are so many ways to change up this recipe, it’s just so easy to make in many different ways! So this is my experiment with great northern beans, tomato paste, and some marrow bones.

Fassoulieh, adapted very loosely from the white Deal Delights cookbook


  • 3 marrow bones
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup dried great northern beans, soaked overnight
  • 8 cups water (or stock, if you want to impart even more flavor)
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Allspice, to taste

1. Add olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot and brown marrow bones on both sides.

2. Add onion, allspice, salt, and pepper and saute until translucent.

3. Add beans, water, potatoes, and tomato paste and mix until combined. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for one hour.

4. Taste for seasoning, and add more if necessary. Bring to a boil again, then simmer for another two hours.

5. Serve over rice.