By Kat Kallos
Our friend Kat from Mulberry Pomegranate has shared with us her family recipe for Manestra. While there have been plenty of simple root vegetable soups, the cocooning comfort of a thick, garlicky ‘manesta’ soup is undeniably a top favourite in her home!
Greek manestra soups are similar to the Italian tradition of ‘minestre’, using up little bits of leftover pasta. They can range from a simple tomato broth to this hearty version which is bolstered with lamb and vegetables. The presence of a large amount of garlic firmly denoting the Zakthynian origins of this particular recipe.
For the broth
- 1 kg lamb cut into large pieces
- 2 tablespoons of EVOO by Ladi Biosas
- 1 onion grated
- 2 heads of garlic peeled
- 2 sprigs of celery
For the soup
- 1 carrot finely diced
- 1 stick of celery finely diced
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 kg ripe tomatoes grated
- Sofia’s chilli puree to taste
- 300 g krithaki orzo pasta
- Sea salt by Salt Odyssey
- Ground black pepper
- Pinch of Greek Organic Oregano
- Ladotriri or pecorino grated to serve
Put the lamb pieces in a stock pot and fill with cold water to cover the lamb. Let it come to a light boil and skim the surface to remove any impurities. Add the celery pieces, garlic cloves and grated onion. Season to taste. Simmer for around 1 hour or until tender.
Take the lamb out and strain the broth, reserving and setting aside.
In a new pot, add the olive oil and sauté the diced carrot, onion and celery over medium heat.
Add the strained broth and cook for 15 minutes.
Next add the grated tomato and chilli puree, cook for another 15 minutes.
Finally, add the krithaki pasta and gently stir so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Cook until the pasta is tender. Return the meat to the soup to warm through. Serve the soup in warmed bowls, with grated cheese on the side.