5 Greek Soups You MUST Try

The tripe of the night greek soups

Soup is delicious, nourishing, soothing, the ideal comfort food for when we are ill, after a night out, or when served as a starter in anticipation of further delicacies, and Greek soups are especially a delight of tasty simplicity.

When visiting Greece, in or out of season, why not try out some of these specially selected scrumptious soup.

Velouté fish soup with trout in Ano Poroia of Serres

Velouté fish soup with trout in Ano Poroia of Serres
Velouté fish soup with trout in Ano Poroia of Serres

In the picturesque mountain village of Ano Poroia, hidden away in a plane forest surrounding Lake Kerkini is rustic taverna Pestrofes.

Situated on the banks of a river fed by the freezing waters running down from the mighty Beles mountain, which forms a natural border with Bulgaria, Pestrofes farms its own trout. A beautiful spot to visit in all seasons, in the cold winters they stoke up the fires and cook a dreamy velouté fish soup in a traditional Greek pot called a ‘tsoukali’.

Fennel and celery melt over a low heat, whole pieces of steamed trout rest on top of the soup and the addition of lime oil along with crispy croutons completes this surprisingly elevated concoction with rich and deep flavours.

Info: Taverna Pestrofes, Ano Poroia, Serres, Tel: 23270 51500

Velvet pumpkin soup with Kozani saffron

Velvet pumpkin soup with Kozani saffron
Velvet pumpkin soup with Kozani saffron.

Pumpkin soup is not a traditional Greek soup but has come to from abroad and inspired Greek kitchens to come up with their own mouth watering renditions. Warming, filling and extremely versatile it can be cooked in a multitude of ways, with or without cream or yogurt, with chestnut, carrot or a little potato.

A unique version with a Greek twist is a velvety pumpkin soup topped with the renowned Kozani saffron.

Saffron is one of the most expensive, rare and therapeutic plants around, growing only in certain regions of the world, and has been cultivated for 300 years exclusively in Kozani. Krokos Kozanis PDO is a saffron known for its remarkably high-quality colour and intense flavour.

The magical crimson stamens are carefully collected by hand from the crocuses that grow in Kozani for a fleeting period of time every October and then dried on silk sieves.

In this soup, the saffron’s intensity of flavour and colour complements the deep flavour and vibrant orange colour of the pumpkin creating a heavenly dish.

Info: Krokos Kozani, Cooperative of Kozani Krokoproducers

Cycladic fisherman’s bouillabaisse

Cycladic fisherman’s bouillabaisse
Cycladic fisherman’s bouillabaisse

When dining out on one the Greek islands at a fish taverna overlooking the sea, why not leave the traditional fare off the menu and try ordering the fish soup. There are countless variations of the recipe for this soup on every island.

According to Mattheo from the Apanemi taverna in Moutsuna, Naxos, a good bouillabaisse is made with the deliciously tender flesh of the rock fish, which is hidden away under its hard and poisonous exterior.

If you are lucky enough to join a fishing expedition, the fishermen may make their own bouillabaisse aboard their boats using sea water to cook the catch of the day. No added salt required!

Whether summer or winter, enjoy a light bouillabaisse at the Apanemi tavern, in Moutsuna, Naxos.

Info: Apanemi, Moutsuna Naxos, Tel: 6944138610

Constantinople trachana

Constantinople trachana
Constantinople trachana

This much-loved traditional dish is a humble yet nutritious staple in every Greek home, saving the day as a filling, fast-food cooked by Grandmothers and students alike. Now with the revival of traditional cuisine, trachana has been elevated to star in hotel brunches and formal dinners.

It is a dried food ingredient, based on a fermented mixture of grain and yogurt or fermented milk eaten throughout Central Asia, Southeast Europe and the Middle East. The famous cuisine of multicultural Constantinople, with its incredible blend and variety of spices and flavours, is renowned throughout Greece and fondly called ‘Politiko.

Agrozimi, an artisan company that makes traditional Greek products with experimental new flavours, has revived the original recipe of the traditional trachana, where fine flour is fermented with tomato paste, red pepper and onion.

Then dried spinach, leek, onion, basil, red pepper and scallions are added. The result is a delicious dish, satisfying for chilly winter evenings, but also truly gourmet for festive dinners.

Info: Agrozimi, https://www.agrozimi.gr/en/

The tripe of the night

The tripe of the night
The tripe of the night

After partying hard all night with the locals have you ever wondered in disbelief how they are all up and about the next day functioning like normal human beings. Don’t waste a day of your precious holidays cocooned in bed in fragile state – follow their lead to the local ‘patsadiko’.

These are usually modest eateries that can typically be found in or around the local food markets or ‘Agoras’ throughout every city and town in Greece and are open from the wee hours of the morning.

They dish up ‘patsa’, one of the most renowned and ‘essential’ soups in Greece, imbued with magical properties and tripe as the star ingredient. In the heart of the main meat and fish market of Athens pay a visit to I Epirus, the only tripe taverna remaining inside the Varvakeio Agora which has been run by Rania and her family for a couple of generations, and try their delicious ‘patsa’, ready to be served from 6 in the morning.

Soak up the convivial, boozy and buzzy atmosphere that offers a slice of real yet rarely seen Greek life. Then pluck up the courage and order one, your body will thank you later.

This tasty soup is a tried and tested recovery method, a soothing balm for the stomach, soaking up all the excess alcohol and allowing you to continue with your holiday pursuits relatively unaffected

Info: Filopoimonos 4, Varvakeios Agora, Tel: 210 3240773

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