Friday, 17 February 2012

raw zucchini, tomato and trachana soup

this original 'tea with hazel' summery soup recipe is the third in a series of seven zucchini recipes i'm aiming to make in the next few weeks that i referred to a few posts ago..

raw* zucchini, tomato and trachana** soup 


1 large onion cut into medium dice
4 garlic cloves cut fine
4 small homegrown celery stalks strings removed and cut small
1 red chill cut fine
1 green chilli cut fine
1 2cm slice of bacon cut into medium dice
3 L fresh tomato juice***
1/4 cup finely cut celery leaves
1 cup (for each person) of grated zucchini (seeds removed)
4 small potatoes cut into medium dice
extra 300 mls tomato juice
1/2 cup trachana
a few chives cut fine
grated aged (preferably 36 month old ) cheddar cheese formed into walnut sized balls (one for each person)
olive oil
salt to taste
pepper to taste

method (soup base)

pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into the base of a large saucepan and heat..add onion and celery and saute for a few minutes..add chilli and bacon and continue to saute until the onion is translucent and starting to brown on the edges..add garlic and potato and stir for a minute and then add the tomato juice..bring to boil..lower to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender..add celery leaves..stir and turn off the heat..

method (trachana) 

when the soup is nearly cooked bring the extra tomato juice to the boil in another saucepan..add trachana and cook stirring for 5 minutes..turn off heat and cover until the soup is ready..

to serve

in a large shallow soup bowl place a large serving spoon of the trachanas and a cup of grated zucchini..pour over soup making sure each bowl gets some potato and with a ball of cheese..sprinkle with chives, drizzle with olive oil and lastly a grating of black pepper..

* i like using grated raw zucchini because it gives the soup a summery freshness..the zucchini is cooked enough with the heat of soup as it's poured into the bowl..and if i make a big pot of the base soup the zucchini doesn't end up being overcooked when the soup is reheated..

** trachanas is available commercially but some greek women still make it by hand..i made it once under the instruction of my consisted of making a dough with flour, yoghurt and eggs which was rolled out thinly, covered, and left to dry inside on a sheet covered it dried it was progressively crumbled and then once completely dry stored in calico's often served for breakfast where it is boiled in water and served with crumbled feta and a drizzle of olive oil..

i don't add it directly to the soup because it's easier to apportion when cooked separately and to avoid the problem as with the zucchini of overcooking it when reheating

***i bottled some more tomato puree this week and, because the tomatoes were very juicy and i wanted a thick puree, i drained the tomatoes in a colander after skinning and deseeding..this left me with several litres of a lovely fresh tomato juice some of which i used in this recipe to form the base of the soup..

text highlighted in green represents homegrown ingredients

i originally wanted to use fontina cheese in this recipe for it's melting softness but i think the 'bite' of the cheddar offered a more interesting contrast to the other flavours..

happy weekend everyone..x


  1. Jane, that's the first time I've ever heard of trachana - love discovering a new ingredient, thank you! :)

  2. it doesn't seem to very well known here celia..i think originally it was made as a way of using summers' dairy glut and stocking up for the leaner winter months..i still love the idea of stocking the larder for the cooler months (even though we don't have to) so i want to try and make some again before summers' end..

  3. I've never heard of it either - I'd love to try it. If you do make it again it would be lovely to see some photos of the process (hint hint) I like the idea of adding freshly grated zucchini to the soup, it sounds completely delicious :)

    1. i really should have got on the trachana band wagon when it was really hot here because now it's cooled down and raining and not ideal for making it..if we get some warmer days i will make it then but otherwise i will make it next summer.. when i do i will post the process for sure jo..