Hot soup is an indispensable dish that allows not only to get enough, but also to warm up, and such a desire often arises in the winter, even in Cyprus. It is not surprising that among the traditional Cypriot recipes you can find several unusual and tasty soups, each of which has its own characteristics. For example, egg-lemon soup (in which juice of one or two lemons is really squeezed out) is usually prepared for Easter, and trahana soup, which can be tasted exclusively on the island, is made from local wheat cereal and goat milk. For the preparation of Cypriot vegetable soups, only fresh vegetables grown in Cyprus are used, and traditional fish soups are made from seafood caught by local fishermen.
Trahana soup is widely known among Cypriots and visitors to the island. Trying it makes sense if only because this soup is prepared only in Cyprus, using fresh goat milk, durum wheat groats growing on the island, and lemon juice, which, in principle, is added by Cypriots to almost all soups. In addition, peppermint, garlic, and chicken are often put in the soup.
Another feature of the trahana soup is that during cooking it is brought to the consistency of thick semolina, and then it is cooled, shaped into thick sausages, and dried. Before eating trahana is poured with boiling water and seasoned with yogurt, and also sprinkled with grated halloumi cheese. However, now in many Cypriot houses and restaurants, soup is no longer “dried up”, but eaten immediately after cooking.
Garlic and spices to taste
In order to cook trahana soup on your own, you can buy in the village products store (of course, we are talking about Cyprus) several dried “trakhan sausages” – 1-2 per serving of soup. At night, these “sausages” need to be soaked in cold water, and in the morning drain the water. After this, it is necessary to boil the chicken broth, remove the meat and strain the broth so that only the liquid remains. The soaked pieces of trahana and the meat cut into pieces must be added to the broth, brought to a boil, and cooked until the trahana is completely boiled, turning the broth into a very thick milk-wheat soup. Before serving, you can add grated halloumi cheese to the soup.
Avgolemono – Greek soup, analogs of which are also found in Turkish, Arabic, Jewish, Italian cuisine, and in the cuisines of the Balkan peoples. The main ingredients of this dish are chicken stock, egg yolks, lemon juice, and rice.
Avgolemono is sometimes used as a sauce for vegetable dishes, dolma, and artichokes, as well as pork and meatballs, but this is not practiced in Cyprus.
Rice: 3/4 cup per serving
Salt and pepper to taste
To cook avgolemono, you need to make chicken broth with vegetables (you can use onions, carrots, celery, and also do not forget about salt and pepper). When the broth is ready, the meat needs to be removed and set aside, and the broth filtered (vegetables are not useful – they can be thrown out). Bring the strained broth back to a boil and pour rice into it (approximately ¾ coffee cup per serving). The rice needs to be cooked until cooked and a little more, because, boiling, will create the correct consistency of the soup.
Then in a separate container, you need to squeeze the juice of 1-2 lemons and separate the egg yolks from the proteins, and beat, gradually adding lemon juice. Continuing to whisk the mixture, you can add a little hot water from the soup (without rice) to it. After this, pour a lemon-egg mixture into a saucepan in a thin stream and bring the soup to a boil.
Avgolemono can be served with chicken, on which the broth was prepared, and with pieces of hard cheese on a separate plate.
Fakes is a Greek vegetarian lentil soup that is quick and easy to prepare and warms well in the fall and winter days. To make the soup more nutritious and aromatic, when cooking, instead of water, you can use meat broth.
Lentils: 3-4 tablespoons
Potato: 1 medium-sized
Vegetables: onions, carrots, bell peppers
Garlic: 1-2 cloves
Tomato paste: 1 tablespoon
Spices: salt, pepper, bay leaf, and dried oregano
First of all, before cooking it is necessary to prepare 1 liter of water or meat broth (you can make a broth of chicken and vegetables, as in the previous recipe, and be sure to strain it so that only the liquid remains). Potatoes need to be cut into cubes and added to water, cook for 10 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, you can fry onions, carrots, bell peppers, and tomato paste in olive oil (instead of tomato paste, you can add tomato without peel to the frying). Add roasting to the water, where there are already bay leaves and potatoes. Then you can add lentils, previously washed in cold water, and cook the soup for 15 minutes, or make it more mashed, 25. When the soup is ready, you can turn off the heat and add finely chopped garlic and dill, a small piece of butter, if desired – smoked bacon or brisket cut into strips.
Before serving, it is recommended to squeeze the juice of a quarter of a lemon into a plate.
Kakavia – Greek fish soup, which is used for cooking in Cyprus, small and large fish caught in coastal waters: scorpion, sea bass, Merow, sea bream, dodger. Cypriots also use onions, tomatoes, olive oil, and spices.
Fish: scorpion, sea bass, merow, sea bream, dodger, and others
Spices to taste
To cook soup, you need to put a ceramic pot or a pot of water on the fire, throw a few onions and tomatoes, cut into circles, and pour half a glass of olive oil. Then the base for the soup should be salted and pepper and left on the fire until the onion boils.
After this, you need to throw small fish into the pan, previously cleaned of scales and fins, let it boil for 10-15 minutes, and then remove the soup from the heat and rub the thicken through a large sieve. Add the resulting mass back into the broth and put the soup on the fire again.
At the final stage, a large fish is added to the soup, cleaned of scales, fins, spikes, and viscera, as well as finely chopped dill. After this, the soup needs to be boiled for another 15-20 minutes.
Kakavia is served on deep plates, with this soup usually served crackers made of white bread or toast.
Before serving, the meat of large fish can be separated from the bones and broken into pieces.
Hortosupa Cypriot vegetable soup is easy to prepare and does not require any special ingredients. Of course, when cooking hortosupas in Cyprus, only local vegetables are used, so the soup turns out to be especially tasty.
Meat or chicken broth
Potato: 2 pcs
Carrots: 2-3 pcs
Celery: several stems
Zucchini: 1 pc
Tomatoes: 2-3 pcs
Onion: 1 pc
Rice: 1/4 cup
Salt and pepper to taste
Potatoes, carrots, celery, zucchini, and tomatoes need to be cut into small cubes so that the amount of ingredients is approximately the same. Onions also need to be finely chopped, it should be about half as much as the rest of the vegetables.
Then bring the pre-cooked meat broth to a boil, add all vegetables except potatoes and tomatoes to it and continue cooking until boiling again. After this, you need to add potatoes and tomatoes, rice, salt, and a few black pepper peas to the soup and cook for about 20 minutes (the readiness can be determined by rice and potatoes).
Before serving in Cyprus, it is customary to add freshly squeezed lemon juice to the plate.
Chickpea soup has Middle Eastern roots. In Cyprus, it is often cooked during fasting, as it is nutritious, despite the fact that it is cooked without meat.
Chickpeas: 2 cups
Tahini paste: 4 tablespoons
White bread: 1/2 loaf
Garlic: several cloves
Salt to taste
The decision to cook chickpea soup should not be spontaneous, as chickpeas are highly recommended to soak in water overnight. The next day, before you start cooking, rinse the chickpeas, put them in a deep pot with water, and bring to a boil, then remove the foam, reduce heat and simmer for about an hour and a half until the chickpeas are soft. Then the chickpeas need to be thrown into a colander and mashed with a blender, and the “chickpea” broth should be left on low heat so that it does not cool.
Then in a separate bowl, you need to mix tahini, salt, garlic, and lemon juice, add the resulting mixture to chickpea puree, and mix everything in the blender again, gradually pouring the broth from the pan so that the mass is liquid and looks like cream soup.
White bread, peeled from crusts, needs to be cut into large cubes, put on a plate, and pour in chickpea soup.
Before serving, you can sprinkle soup with finely chopped parsley, add a little olive oil to it, pepper, and throw a few olives on a plate.
Bean soup Fasolada
Another popular, nutritious, fasting soup in Cyprus is called Fasolada. Like chickpeas in the previous recipe, the beans are soaked overnight and then poured with boiling water for a while. After that, the softened beans are stewed with vegetables, adding onions, fried with tomato paste and water, so that by the end of cooking the soup has a thick consistency.
Bean stews are also popular in Turkey and many Arab countries.
Canned Red Beans: 2 cans
Celery – 3 stalks
Chili pepper – 1 pc.
Garlic – 2 cloves
Olive oil – 2 tablespoons
Vegetable broth – 600 ml
Spices: coriander, salt, pepper – to taste
Cut the onion into small cubes and fry in a pan until golden brown. Cut celery, pepper, and garlic and fry together with onions until soft. Add vegetable broth and beans to the pan (water from cans must be drained first). Cook under a lid for 15 minutes over low heat. At the end of cooking, add salt and spices. When the soup is ready, pour it into a blender or combine and beat until smooth.
Cream soup from vegetables and beef
Cream soup is a fairly common dish these days, but cream soups with meat are not so common.
Beef: 1 kg
Onion: 1-2 medium-sized onions
Potato: 5-6 pcs
Carrots: 2-3 pcs
Zucchini: 2-3 pcs
Celery: 1 bunch
Salt and pepper to taste
First of all, you need to chop the beef into large pieces, put it in a pan with water, and cook until half cooked (20-30 minutes). Then cut the potatoes, carrots, onions, and celery into cubes, add vegetables to the meat and cook for about 20 minutes. To give the soup a creamy structure, you need to get some of the vegetables from the soup and grind them in a blender, and then pour the resulting mashed potatoes back into the soup.
Before serving, it is recommended to squeeze the juice of a large segment of lemon into a plate.
Of course, the list of traditional Cypriot soups cannot be complete without seafood soup. Garidosupa is a Greek shrimp soup that cooks very quickly.
Shrimp: 1 kg
Vegetables: carrots, onions, tomatoes
Greens: celery, chives, parsley
Spices to taste
Cut carrots, celery, and onions into small cubes, and then cook for 10 minutes over low heat together with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Then add peeled shrimp, diced tomato, a tablespoon of tomato paste, and, if desired, hot pepper, and cook the soup for another 10-15 minutes.
Before serving, sprinkle the garidosupa with parsley. There are also recipes for cream soup in which at the end of cooking the shrimp is taken out of the soup and the rest is ground in a blender. After this, the shrimp can already be laid out on a plate.
Soup of celery and mushrooms
Celery: 1 kg
Ceps: 250 g
Onion: one large onion
Garlic: 5 cloves
White wine: 1 small cup
Olive oil: 1 small cup
Lemon: 2 pcs
Paprika and salt to taste
Celery needs to be peeled and chopped into small pieces, white mushrooms – washed and chopped into medium-sized pieces, onions and garlic – finely chopped. Then fry the onions and garlic in a deep frying pan in olive oil until the onions turn golden. After that, put mushrooms and wine in a pan and simmer for several minutes.
Add celery and a half-liter of water to the pan (if the pan is not deep enough, it is better to transfer all the ingredients to the pan before this step), as well as salt and paprika. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about half an hour.
At the end of cooking, add juice squeezed from two lemons to the pan and cook for another 5 minutes.