One thing that I appreciate most in Northern European countries is the ideal placement of soup in their meals. In Romania, Estonia, and other countries I had visited, the first course is a soup. And not just a boring soup. A soup full of flavors and aromas.
Thessaloniki is a little colder and a lot more humid these days, so I remembered this ‘food habit’ of the North and gave it a little twist.
My fridge was full of a bit of this and that at the time, so I wondered, “how can you both make a good ‘food waste soup’ and prepare your system for Fall illnesses? I put into the pot some ‘one step before spoiled’ horta, cabbage, zucchini, carrots, potatoes, and onions that are always in our pantry. Then I picked out the herbs: fresh anise, spring onions, parsley, dried sweet paprika, turmeric, basil, garlic, and sumac. I just boiled them until soft and I made a velvety soup with the hand blender. Results were great.
In this way, I created ready-to-eat food, ideal for the morning and full of energy at night, brimming with micronutrients and also producing a sense of fullness.
Vegetables offer a great amount of fiber and in this combination, as well as all the appropriate required vitamins, in fair amounts. Herbs provided the extra antioxidants and of course, a great taste that give you the will to eat it again! The only thing that these kinds of soups lack, is protein. For this reason, I propose adding little bits of feta cheese or some cream – but instead of ‘fatty’ cream, you can use ‘straggisto’ Greek-style yogurt. This applies to many recipes which need cream, trust me! Also, if you have some pieces of leftover meat, i.e. chicken, turkey, any red meat, you can cut them in pieces, saute them with garlic and onion, and add them to the soup.
You can keep these kinds of soups (without adding meat or dairy) in the refrigerator for four days or you can freeze them in portions for future use as a ready-to-eat meal! Have a nice Autumn!
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.