Soups

Soups

By
Pam Talimanidis
Contains
12 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
9781742704869
Photographer
Mark Roper

Bean soups, particularly fassolatha and fakes, are a staple of the Greek diet. They are consumed regularly, not as a first course but as a whole meal. There are three reasons for this: they make a substantial meal on the many days of religious fasting when eating meat is prohibited; they are very nutritious, being high in protein, fibre and carbohydrate; they are inexpensive to make. With the addition of olive oil and vegetables and accompanied by a number of simple side dishes and some crusty bread, these soups are filling and tasty and are consumed all year round.

Greeks are great fish eaters and never like to waste anything edible, so housewives will often make a stock from the head of a fish to make a simple psarosoupa. Sometimes this basic stock will be made into a more complex kakavia, with the addition of potato and other seafood.

The celebration of Easter is the most important religious festival in the Greek calendar and the preparation of the spring lamb for the spit on Easter Sunday is eagerly anticipated. But before the feasting comes maygeritsa, a soup made from the lamb offal that is served after midnight mass to officially break the Lenten fasting. Avgolemono (egg and lemon) is whisked into the soup just before serving.

A special treat for late night revellers is a tripe soup called patsa, which is consumed on the way home from the bouzoukia (night clubs), usually at around 3 or 4 am. Special patsa shops stay open all night to cater for this trade, fortifying those who will go straight to work with little or no sleep but a satisfied stomach. Patsa is also consumed by early morning shift workers on their way to work.

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