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Author Notes: Until 150 years ago, potatoes were considered only as animal feed in the Balkans.
This soup is, therefore, a relatively recent creation. The recipe comes from an Athenian family with roots in Izmir so it probably originated in Turkey. I discovered it through the “Cookbook of the Jews of Greece”: an old-style, fabric-covered tome with the title printed on the spine in golden letters. There are no pictures inside – just some rough illustrations, but it’s a great ethnographic read with several cosmopolitan recipes that trace the culinary routes of the Jews from the west to the east of Europe. —Evangelia
Serves 4 to 6
- ¼ pounds butter
- 3-4 large potatoes
- 4-5 onions
- 3 pinches carrots
- 5 cups yogurt (or 1 quart milk)
- ½ teaspoons crush fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons dried mint leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Chop the onions, cut the carrots and potatoes in thin slices
- Heat the butter in a heavy frying pan and saute the vegetables
- When they begin to soften, add a little milk to moisten them and simmer until they are done, about 15-20 minutes
- In a heavy saucepan beat the yogurt and set over very low heat until it is hot but not boiling
- Add the vegetables, herbs and salt and pepper, and stir over very low heat for 5-10 minutes
- It can be server either warm or cold, while it also makes a great summery cold appetizer