“Trahana” is made with either semolina, wheat flour, bulgur or cracked wheat that has been soaked in milk and then dried in the sun; it is one of the oldest East Mediterrenean foods that varies a lot in different regions in Greece. There are two types: sweet trahana and sour trahana. Traditionally, sour trahana is made with fermented raw goat and/or sheep and/or cow milk or yoghurt. Sweet trahana is made with milk (usually sheeps’ or goats’ milk). The two are very popular in Greece and Cyprus.
I am a big fan of sour trahana, especially for its nutty and sour flavour. My usual way of having the soup is with caramelised onions, garlic, tomato, oregano and –of course- feta. This time, I decided to modify an old Christoforos Peskias recipe as I find the addition of yoghurt –and figs, of course, an
excellent idea. The recipe adds to the soup, a wonderful creaminess as well as a sweet and crunchy layer which I loved! Did someone say comfort food?
Cream soup of trahana garnished with sun-dried figs

Serves 6-8

Ingredient
1 kilo of sour trahana
2L of chicken broth
1 whole onion, peeled
2 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 big carrot, (preferably organic) peeled
1 bay leaf, 1 tbs of dried thyme
300g of sheep’s yoghurt, 300g strained yoghurt
300g sun-dried figs
4 tbs of evoo
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper

Method
In a soup pot heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add trahana. Stir until coated with oil, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth (or water) onion, garlic, carrot and bring to a boil. Add bay leaf, thyme, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 mins, stirring often, until trahana is tender and nutty tasting and the broth slightly thickened. Remove carrot, onion, garlic and bay leaf from the mix.

The mixture should be more like porridge. Remove from heat and add the soup to a food processor (or blender) and pulse it for about 20 minutes. Pass the soup through a strainer for a smoother texture. Add the mix to a big bowl and stir in both types of yoghurt to the mix, top with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon into bowls and garnish them with chopped sun-dried figs. Enjoy!


A creative recipe by Jackie. Enjoy!

Figs and olives are well on their way in, cherries are on their way out.
Here is something to mark the transitional period between the seasons- a bit savoury, a bit sweet…about as classifiable as the weather.

Olive, cherry, fig samosas with rosemary syrup

• I find it easiest to fold these pastries into triangular shapes, hence the term “samosa”, but there is no reason you cannot make them in different shape. Filo pastry is wonderfully forgiving.
• The recipe is meant to be a guideline, as are most of the recipes created for oliveology. Create! Be inspired by the best produce you can find.

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Figs are widely known in the Mediterranean since the ancient times; thought to have been first cultivated in Egypt and then spread first to Crete and Ancient Greece. The fruits were considered so valuable that it was illegal to export them.

Nowadays the largest producers of figs worldwide are Greece, Turkey, Portugal, Spain and California. The fruits are rich in calcium, potassium (a mineral that helps to control high blood pressure), dietary fibre (positive effect on weight management) and manganese (known for its cardiovascular effects).

It is among the richest in fibre fruits, protective against post-menopausal breast cancer and their leaves have insulin lowering properties. Dried figs can be enjoyed throughout the year and stay fresh for several months. They are best kept in room temperature in a cool and dry place wrapped well.

If you wish to revive them, soak them in boiling water or lightly steam them. They’re wonderful when chopped, mixed with other dried fruits, nuts and spices, added to tea-breads and cakes or stewed, flavoured with anise and fennel. Figs ideal matches are ingredients with intense flavours such as prosciutto, blue cheese, gorgonzola, rocket. I am just ready to prepare a fig, walnut and gruyere bagel now, wish me luck?

Buy Greek figs