Lentil soup is a classic Greek dish. Every Greek household has its own version. My mother makes it in its simplest form, simply boiling lentils with plenty of garlic. Marianna’s mother adds onions, carrots and celery (and it is this recipe that we have for you today). But no matter what vegetables one chooses for this soup, there is one ingredient that all Greek lentil soups include: bay leaves. These fragrant leaves give a unique aroma, with complex herbal and slightly floral notes. They turn our lentils into a truly comforting meal. Our bay leaves are organic and wild, and hand picked from the mountains of Epirus, in North West Greece.

We’re serving this soup with our 18 extra virgin olive oil (surprisingly our apple oil works great here!) and plenty of vinegar. It is great eaten hot, but keeps well, so it also makes for a great lunch the following day.

Serves 2

1 onion
1 carrot
1 stick of celery
130g lentils
2 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1lt water
18C olive oil (to serve)
red wine vinegar (to serve)

Finely chop your onion, carrot and celery stick. Peel the garlic and leave whole.

In a medium-sized pot add the chopped vegetables and garlic, lentils, bay leaves and water.

Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to medium. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

Serve hot, with olive oil and plenty of vinegar.

 


We are now well into January and the holidays feel like a distant memory. Most of us are getting back to work, and to our usual routines. So this week, we’ve decided to make something sweet, to brighten up our days. This recipe is also vegan and sugar-free, and it is our way of saying that such food that may fall further away than what we’re used to eating can be good for our bodies, filling, fulfilling and delicious!

This is an unusual recipe, as it uses succulent dried fruit and Metaxa, the unique Greek amber spirit to create a luscious jam. The original recipe is by the Greek pastry chef Stelios Parliaros, but we’ve adapted it using two types of fruit and our apple oil to finish!

It is perfect on toast with some mature cheddar on top, great in your porridge, but also makes for a wonderful addition to your cheese platters. It is a great glaze for roast pork, or topping for your baked sweet potatoes or squash.

Makes 1 large jar

200g dried apricots
200g dried cherries
120ml Metaxa 12*
40 ml water, plus 100ml water, divided
3 tbsp apple oil

Cut the dried apricots in quarters. Place them in a medium-sized bowl, along with the cherries, metaxa and 40ml of water. Leave overnight to soak.

The following day, place them in a medium-sized pot and over low heat. Add the 100ml of water and simmer, stirring occasionally for around 15-30min, or until the jam is set. You can check by placing a tablespoon of the jam on a place, let it cool down a bit, then run your finger though it. The line created by your finger should stay clear and the jam should not run back to fill the gap.

Remove from the heat, let it cool down and add the apple oil. Place in a large jar and keep in the fridge.


Happy New Year! Whether it’s new-year-new-us, or new-year-old-us, we are extremely happy to be getting back to cooking wholesome, simple meals. We very much enjoyed the extravagant Christmas and New Year’s lunches and dinners, but there is something really comforting in simple foods that feel good for our bodies.

So we are kicking off 2022 with a much loved recipe.

Black eye beans cooked with greens (usually spinach) is a classic dish in Greek cuisine. Our small black eye beans are harvested every year in organic farms in northern Greece. They are also perfect simply boiled and served with herbs and plenty of lemon. Here, we’ve kept it simple, using just a bit of onion and a bay leaf to flavour the dish. You can use spinach or any other seasonal greens that you prefer. This dish can also be served hot or at room temperature and makes for a wonderful lunch the following day. If you’ve been following this blog, then you’ll know how much we love such versatile dishes.

So from all of us at Oliveology, have a healthy, happy New Year, filled with delicious food and your loved ones!

Serves 2
150g black eye beans
1 bay leaf
1 large onion
2 tbsp olive oil
200g spinach leaves
salt, pepper (to taste)

Place your beans in a medium-sized pot with fresh water. Add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium, cover and let the beans cook for 30’, until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.

Finely chop your onion.

In a large skillet, and over medium-low heat, gently fry the onion with the olive oil, until transluscent, around 5 minutes.

Add the cooked beans and spinach leaves and stir everything together, adding a few splashes of water.
Season with salt and pepper.

Cook everything together for 10-15 minutes, until the beans are tender and the spinach is wilted.

Serve hot or at room temperature.