By next week, spring will be here. Spring solstice is on the 21st and already we feel the days becoming longer and the weather milder. Flowers are timidly appearing in parks and green is the colour all around us.
Green leafy vegetables of all sorts have always been the food that makes us feel healthy and strong. So as we say goodbye to winter and welcome spring, this week we are making a classic greek dish: hortosoupa. Literally meaning “soup with greens”, it is a much loved Greek dish. There are many ways to make hortosoupa and today’s recipe is inspired by the food writers of the Greek magazine Gastronomos who use trahana to add some texture in this soup. You can omit trahana if you prefer to keep this vegan.
Traditionally, hortosoupa is prepared with wild greens, which are in abundance in Greek farmers markets this time of the year. We also used bunches of chervil and Mediterranean hartwort. But worry not, you can use any leafy greens and herbs you have in hand. My mother makes hortosoupa with spinach, and also adds any leftover vegetables we may have around: potatoes, carrots. My best friend uses kale and a wide selection of herbs: parsley, dill, watercress, celery leaves. You get the idea. Chard works well, collard greens, arugula, and of course, spinach and kale, parsley and dill.
Don’t forget to check our all of our spring recipes!
4 tbsp olive oil, plus more to serve
4 spring onions
500g wild greens (hórta), or other leafy greens
2 large bunches of herbs (we used chervil and Mediterranean hartwort)
1200ml water or stock
150g trahana (sweet or sour)
salt (to taste)
Finely chop the spring onions, using both the white and green part.
In a large pot and over medium heat place the olive oil and the spring onions and cook until soft but not caramelised.
Roughly chop the greens and herbs and add them to the pot. Stir, until the greens are wilted, around 5 minutes.
Add the trahana and water or stock and stir everything together. Season with salt.
Bring to a boil and then cover, lower the heat and cook for 30 minutes, until trahana is tender.
Blend the soup to get a smooth texture and serve with more olive oil.