Amazing Greek Soup with Lemon, Peas and Dill
A couple of months ago, we were invited for a late lunch/ early dinner at Greek friends of ours. Back then, the temperatures were still fairly nice and they had set the table outside on the terrace. Not only do they have an amazing view over the bay, they also have an outdoor “kitchen”. I use quotation marks because the cooking area is a self made counter with a wind shield and a simple cupboard. On the counter is a massive portable gas stove, which our friend brought all the way from Greece to Australia. As our friends love to cook, eat and entertain, the own the largest pots and pans I have ever seen. Food wise, we are not exactly on the same wavelength- their diet includes lots of meat and lots of wine. But coming from a Mediterranean country, their dishes also involve a lot of salad and vegetables and whenever they cook for us, they serve us the most delicious Greek vegetable dishes.
On that particular evening, we were served an incredible dish that included potatoes, peas, lemon and dill. It had a stew/ thick soup like consistency and we were told that usually one of the main ingredients are artichokes. Our friends were running all around town in the morning to find artichokes, but were unsuccessful. But even without the artichokes, the dish was superb.
Sadly, I forgot to take a photo right away and the picture on the right side is the closest that I could find on the web. This recipe is called AGINARES ME ARAKA in Greek and is supposedly a favorite summer time dish. Our friend’s dish looked similar but had a lot more sauce and no artichokes but cubed potatoes instead.
Today, I set out to find a close enough recipe that I could use as a base for our friends dish- of course, I could also simply call them and ask for the recipe, but I love to search the web and find other interesting recipes and ideas. And this is exactly what happened… I stumbled upon a traditional Greek Easter dish, called Avgolemono.
Avgolemono stands for lemon soup. This type of soup is made with a mixture of eggs, lemon and broth, which is heated until it thickens. Usually, rice and vegetables or meat are cooked in the soup.
Well, I found a couple of vegetarian Avgolemono recipes and one vegan one. I combined them and came up with a wonderful plant-based version, which everybody loved. Serving a new dish is always a challenge and I hate nothing more than spending a lot of time in the kitchen and online and in the end, the result is somewhat sad. This time, the soup was a huge success. I even had all ingredients except the dill at home.
DILL is an interesting herb. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a unique plant in that both its leaves and seeds are used as a seasoning. Dill’s green leaves are wispy and fern like and have a soft, sweet taste. Dried dill seeds are light brown in color and oval in shape, featuring one flat side and one convex ridged side. The seeds are similar in taste to caraway, featuring a flavor that is aromatic, sweet and citrusy, but also slightly bitter.
- Dill weed contains numerous plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
- The essential oil, eugenol in the dill has been in therapeutic usage as local-anesthetic and anti-septic. This was very interesting news for me being a dentist, because zinc oxide eugenol (ZOE) is a material can be used as a filling or cement material. It is often used in dentistry when the decay is very deep or very close to the nerve or pulp chamber because of its antibacterial and anesthetic properties.
So here is my version of a whole food plant-based avgolemono
Find the recipe here http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=4700
Enjoy the recipe!