4 Greek Soup Recipes to Keep You Warm till Summer
10 Jan 2021

4 Greek Soup Recipes to Keep You Warm till Summer

Post by eyewide

The chilly season on Crete Island starts towards the end of October and can last until late April. When the skies are grey, and it rains outside, you will love cosying up in your favourite chair under a shawl or a blankie with a warm cup of soup in your hands. You can sip it and listen to the rhythm of the falling rain, hear the wind, and know that you are safe from the capricious winter nature in your home. Here are four Greek soup recipes to keep you warm when the weather is cold, no matter where you are.

Avgolemono (Greek Lemon Chicken Soup)

Avgolemono requires just a handful of ingredients that are easy to come by, regardless of the season. But despite having a few ingredients, it is not the easiest soup to cook if you don’t know a few tricks to help you achieve the creaminess found in avgolemono in Cretan homes or restaurants. So, respect the instructions and arm yourself with patience before you start.


Step one – the chicken broth:

  • 2-3 boneless chicken breasts;
  • 1 onion, peeled (preferably red, but not mandatory);
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled;
  • 1 celery stalk;
  • 1 carrot;
  • 2 l of water

Instructions: Place all the ingredients into a large soup pot, bring to a boil, and then simmer for an hour and fifteen minutes or until the chicken is tender. Strain the broth through a colander and set the meat aside. You can keep or discard the carrot: it can add some colour if you chop it into your soup. Discard the onion, garlic, and celery.

Set aside a cup of broth for the egg-lemon sauce.

Step two – the egg-lemon sauce:

  • 2 large eggs;
  • freshly squeezed juice from a large lemon;
  • a cup of lukewarm chicken broth (as prepared in step 1).

Instructions: Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk until frothy, then add the freshly squeezed lemon juice gradually while continuing to whisk. You can use an electronic hand mixer on low to make this process as painless as possible, but a manual non-electric whisk works well too. Still, the electric one is more suitable because you must incorporate a cup of lukewarm broth into the sauce and whisk quickly, or else the egg whites will curd, which will spoil the creamy texture of your soup.

Step three – the final avgolemono soup:

  • 150 grams of short grain rice like arborio rice or sushi rice;
  • chicken broth (see step 1);
  • boiled chicken meat in bite-size slices (resulted from making the broth in step 1);
  • salt and pepper to taste;
  • egg-lemon sauce.

Instructions: Boil the rice in the chicken stock for about 20 minutes until ready to eat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then set it aside to cool down; pour in the egg and lemon sauce when it is lukewarm. Add the shredded chicken and return to heat on low. Simmer the soup, frequently stirring, until the eggs have cooked evenly, and the soup is nice and hot. Garnish with parsley if you have any at hand.

Fakes (Greek Lentil Soup)

Fakes is a simple soup, nourishing and full of earthy flavours. It is a staple in most Cretan homes during the colder seasons. Greek children love it because they grow up with it, but if you are not used to eating legumes, this soup will surprise you too.


  • 500 grams of dry brown lentils;
  • 25 litres of water;
  • 100 millilitres olive oil;
  • 1 onion, finely chopped;
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped;
  • 1 bay leaf;
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of tomato paste;
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar;
  • salt and pepper to taste.


  • Soak the lentils in water for one hour, then rinse them a few times to remove debris. Strain through a colander and set aside.
  • In a deep soup pot, sauté onion in half of the olive oil until translucent and soft.
  • Add the lentils, water, garlic, bay leaf, and tomato paste. Mix well, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 35-40 minutes, until the lentils are soft and tender.
  • Serve hot, with a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar. You can top your soup with crumbles of feta cheese, pepper flakes, and olives if you wish.

Fasolada (Greek Bean Soup)

This gluten-free, nourishing winter soup is as easy to prepare as fakes, although it may take longer because beans must soak six hours or more to be ready to cook. Of course, you can use canned beans, but you will not get the same flavours and quality.


  • 500g dry cannellini beans;
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped;
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped;
  • 3 large carrots, grated on the big shredder side (you can chop them if you don’t have a shredder);
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped;
  • 100 millilitres olive oil;
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of tomato paste;
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry sweet paprika;
  • 1 teaspoon Cretan herbs (optional);
  • salt and pepper to taste.


  • Parboil the beans in plenty of water (beans expand almost three times their volume during boiling) for 30-35 minutes. Drain, and set aside.
  • Preheat 50 millilitres of olive oil in a soup pot, then add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. This is the step when you add the Cretan herbs if you choose to do it. If you do not have Cretan herbs, herbs de Provence may be a substitute. Sauté for a couple of minutes before adding the tomato paste and paprika. Mix well.
  • Tip in the parboiled beans and add enough water to cover them well. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 35 minutes or longer until tender.
  • Add the rest of the olive oil to the end of cooking time and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve hot with artisan bread and smoked meat, like Cretan apaki.

Revithia (Greek Chickpea Soup)

Although not as popular as fakes and fasolada, revithia is a comforting Greek winter soup. You will only need a handful of ingredients, but chickpeas require forever to prepare: you must soak them for 12 hours or longer.


  • 500 grams of dry chickpeas;
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped;
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped;
  • 1 carrot, grated on the big shredder side;
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped (optional);
  • 100 millilitres olive oil;
  • 5 litters of water or vegetable stock;
  • 1 teaspoon dry Cretan herbs (optional);
  • freshly squeezed juice from two lemons;
  • 1 heaped tablespoon flour;
  • salt and pepper to taste.


  • Soak the chickpeas overnight for 12 hours or longer if you want. When you are ready to cook, drain and rinse them well several times.
  • Preheat the olive oil in a deep soup pot and add onion, carrot, and celery (optional). Sauté everything over medium heat until the onion is translucent.
  • Add garlic and Cretan herbs, then tip in the chickpeas and cover with water (or vegetable stock). Reduce the heat to low. It would help if you watched the soup during the first 20 minutes of cooking and skimmed the foam that formed at the top.
  • After the first 20 minutes, cover the pot and simmer for 1 hour or longer until the chickpeas are tender. The cooking time depends on how long you allowed them to soak. You must try a few chickpeas for tenderness before you decide they are ready.
  • A few minutes before the end of the cooking time, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Serve hot with rustic bread or Cretan rusks.

Please note that these are “base” recipes. There are variations in every household. For example, some recipes may call for more spices, less oil, or other ingredients not mentioned here (like bacon or sausage in fasolada). Trust your palate, and feel free to adapt the recipes accordingly.

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