Cream of tomato soup (Ντοµατόσουπα βελουτέ)

Cream of tomato soup (Ντοµατόσουπα βελουτέ)

Smooth, creamy and packed with flavour 

Cream of tomato soup (Ντοµατόσουπα βελουτέ)

We each have vivid memories of returning home after spending time at a non-Greek friend’s house and telling our parents about the unusual and often delicious foods we had eaten there.  We were both pretty adventurous and rarely refused anything which was offered to us.  We were especially intrigued by food which came from a can…because this was not something you ever saw in our childhood kitchen.  We were amazed at the convenience, the variety, the flavour, and the colourful labels and whimsical names that were stacked high in our friends’ pantries.  When we went grocery shopping with our parents we would search for these cans in the aisles and try to convince them to buy them for us.  It rarely worked.  Instead, our parents would read the labels, (often asking us to translate what was written) and say Θα το κάνουμε καλύτερα (We’ll make it better).  This was how we ended up with Greek-style beef ravioli, home-made alphabet noodle pasta, and this cream of tomato soup.

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Manestra (Μανέστρα)

Mantra soup (Μανέστρα)

Sometimes in life, you have to take risks.  Think outside the box.  Blaze a new path.  It can be scary and uncomfortable, but the rewards are usually worth it.  That’s what we have done here.  Manestra, a simple, tomato-based pasta soup, is usually made with orzo, but we decided to use pasta shaped as little stars (cue gasps).  We were brave.  We were ground breakers.  We were unintimidated.  We were out of orzo.

No matter what small shaped pasta you use, the end result is sure to be delicious. Manestra’s subtle flavour makes it a favourite amongst picky eaters, and when it is served plain (that is, not topped with grated mizithra) it is a perfect vegan and lenten option – particularly when you are all beaned out.

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