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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 June 2016
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 JUNE 2016 13 Classic trahanosoupa There are two kinds of trahana: the sweet, which is soaked in milk, and the sour, which contains yoghurt. The flavours may also vary according to the place of origin and method of drying. Luckily, you can find trahana at any Greek deli shop. How to cook it? It’s always best to start with a classic version of trahanosoupa before you move on to other variations. Ingredients: 1 cup trahana 4 cups of water or vegetable stock 180g feta cheese, crumbled (this can be replaced by haloumi) 1 cup milk/yoghurt 1 tsp butter Method: 1. In a water-filled pot, and while the pot and the water are still cold, throw in the trahanas with the butter (alternatively you can use olive oil). 2. Stir well over medium heat, add salt, pepper and butter and boil for 15-20 minutes while stirring. 3. Once the trahanas starts to soften, add some milk or yoghurt and stir until all ingredients are boiling together. 4. Add more water if you think the soup is too thick and cook for few minutes extra. Five minutes before you turn the heat off add some crumbled cheese. Allow the soup to rest for a couple of minutes before placing it in bowls. * You can also add more pepper and cheese bofore serving it. A nice twist would also be to add some fresh tomato puree before the feta, instead of milk. Puréed veggie trahanosoupa Sweet and tart flavours marry in this thick, comforting soup made with leeks, carrots, onion and trahana. Blend the soup with an immersion blender to get a purée with a fair amount of texture. You can make a smoother, more elegant soup if you use a blender and then strain the purée. Trahana has a rustic flavour that goes well in this recipe. If you are using semolina or flour trahana, the mixture will be considerably thicker, so use less; half as much as the recipe suggests should be fine. Ingredients: 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 large red or yellow onion, chopped salt to taste 2 garlic cloves, minced 500g carrots, diced 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed of sand and chopped 1 1/2 cups sour bulgur trahana 2 litres vegetable stock, chicken stock or water a bouquet garni made with a bay leaf and a couple of sprigs each of parsley and thyme or oregano freshly ground pepper additional olive oil and chopped fresh herbs such as dill, parsley or mint, for garnish red pepper flakes or cayenne for garnish (optional) Method: 1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in heavy soup pot and add onion. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, 5 to 8 minutes, and add a generous pinch of salt, garlic, carrots and leeks. Continue to cook, stirring, until carrots and leeks begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. 2. Add remaining olive oil and stir in trahana. Stir until trahana is coated with oil, about 1 minute, and add stock or water and bouquet garni. Bring to the boil, add salt to taste, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender and trahana has fallen apart in the soup and is tender. Add salt to taste. Remove and discard bouquet garni. 3. For a coarse purée, use an immersion blender to purée the soup. For a finer purée, transfer in batches to a blender or a food processor. If using a blender do not put the top on tight; leave out the centre of the lid and cover tightly with a towel. Purée until smooth and if desired, strain. Return to the pot, taste and adjust salt. Add freshly ground pepper to taste. 4. Reheat gently and serve, garnishing each serving with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of herbs. If you want spice, sprinkle with red pepper flakes or a little bit of cayenne. Sour and tangy trahanosoupa This recipe is just about the simplest dish you can make using trahana, yet it is incredibly satisfying and refreshing, as it tastes good either hot or cold. This version of trahana soup is adapted from a recipe in Diane Kochilas’ cookbook Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity From the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die. Ingredients: 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 1/2 cups sour bulgur trahana 8 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock salt and freshly ground pepper 3 tablespoons lemon juice, strained 6 tablespoons crumbled feta plain Greek yoghurt for garnish (optional) chopped fresh herbs for garnish Method: 1. In a medium pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add trahana. Stir until well-coated with oil. 2. Add water or stock and bring to the boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, until trahana is tender and nutty tasting and the broth slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes if using home-made bulgur trahana. If you use semolina or flour trahana the time will only be 8 to 12 minutes and the mixture will be more like a porridge. 3. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Spoon into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil and a tablespoon of crumbled feta. Garnish with plain yoghurt if desired and chopped fresh herbs such as mint, parsley or dill. Mussel and tomato trahanosoupa This is a traditional Greek and Cypriot dish that has passed from generation to generation, with a double twist, using tomato and seafood, but keeping the feta which makes it much tastier and creamy. Trahana mussel soup is perfect if you are after a light, nutritious and hearty dish. Ingredients: 5 tbsp extra virgin Greek olive oil ½ cup sour or vegetarian trahana 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1/4 teaspoon boukovo (dried hot red pepper flakes) 1 cup dry white wine ½ cup water 2 cups fresh pureed tomatoes or finely chopped, goodquality canned tomatoes pinch of sugar, optional 2kg mussels, scrubbed and beards removed 150g feta cheese, crumbled 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, optional Method: 1. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep pan or shallow pot and warm the trahana, garlic and boukovo, stirring until the garlic turns pale yellow. 2. Add the wine. As soon as it steams up, add the water and tomatoes and cook over moderate heat until slightly thickened. Season to taste with salt, white pepper and sugar. 3. Add the mussels, raise heat to high and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until mussels just open wide, about 6 to 8 minutes. (Discard any mussels that are unopened after 8 minutes.) 4. Sprinkle with feta and parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.
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