Trahanas with halloumi soup is a Greek Cypriot speciality. It is a comforting sour soup made from wheat, fermented yogurt and chunks of salty halloumi. This a proper like village dish, it looks really basic, but it is full of so much flavour and texture.
WHAT DOES TRAHANOSOUPA TASTE LIKE
This is one of my favourite Greek Cypriot soups. If you have never tried it before you may find it a little strange. It smells a bit cheesy because of the fermented yoghurt. Not a stinky cheese smell but a comforting tasty cheesy smell.
My favourite bit though is the halloumi. The texture is next level. It’s rubbery, salty and chewy all at the same time. That mixed with the tiny wheat grains makes this soup perfection.
Every time I eat trahanas I always think back to when I was a child, and I’d come home from school when it was freezing cold outside. The gas fire was on, and I’d sit there watching cartoons on BBC1 and ITV slurping this deliciousness. One side of my face was hot from the fire the other side was still cold, but I felt warm on the inside because of trahana.
WHAT IS GREEK CYPRIOT TRAHANAS WITH HALLOUMI SOUP MADE OF?
Cypriot trahana is made from cracked wheat and sheep or goat yogurt.
HOW IS TRAHANA MADE?
- Trahana is made by leaving sheep or goats yogurt in a pot on the worktop at room temperature to ferment for a few days, so it goes really sour.
- Then cracked wheat is added to the fermented yogurt and cooked on a low heat and stirred constantly. The trahana is ready when all the yogurt has been absorbed into the wheat.
- The trahana is then roughly shaped into ovals and left to dry out in the summer sun
When dried, the trahana is stored for the winter to make trahana soup.
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WHICH IS BETTER SHOP BOUGHGT OR HOMEMADE TRAHANAS?
I buy my trahana from the shops because I have never made it from scratch.
When I was little, I remember being on holiday in Cyprus and we were at my Yiayia’s siblings house and there were big trays of trahana covered with nets drying out in the sun. When us kids would play running around, I’d sneak a piece or two and then carry on playing. It tasted amazing. If you can make it yourself or get a batch of freshly made trahana then definitely do. If not, then don’t worry the ones from the shop are still really tasty.
CYPRUS TRAHANA RECIPE FROM SCRATCH
To make traditional trahanosoupa (trahana soup) you only need 4 ingredients:
- Chicken stock
HOW TO MAKE TRAHANAS WITH HALLOUMI SOUP
Trahana is so easy to make the hardest part is having to stir which is totally worth the warm comforting soup you get in the end.
After soaking your trahana for 1 hour, you add more water and chicken stock and stir continuously until it thickens, about 20 minutes. Then you add your chopped halloumi, and it is ready. It is that simple.
HOW TO SERVE YOUR TRAHANAS WITH HALLOUMI SOUP
There are 2 ways I like to eat my trahana to take it to the next level.
I like to add black pepper to my trahana for some heat especially when it’s cold outside. You get the heat of the soup but when you add a little bit of pepper you feel that little bit warmer. It feels so nice in your mouth.
My dad always makes a gabira which is toast in Greek. He cuts it into small pieces and adds it on top of his soup to add more texture and make it more filling.
Either way you serve it, it is delicious. I always do both.
MORE CYPRIOT RECIPES
- 400 g Trahana
- 1 Litre Water (cold)
- 1 1/2 Litres Water
- 1 Stock cube (I use chicken but you can also use vegetable stock)
- 225 g Halloumi (cubed)
- Toast (optional)
- Black pepper (optional)
- In your pot add 400g of trahana and 1 litre of cold water and leave it to soak for 1 hour Make sure to use a big pot, one that can take at least 3 litres of water
- After 1 hour put your pot on a medium heat and add 1 1/2 litres of water and a stock cube and stir in it. Keep stirring for about 20 minutes because the trahana will start to stick to the bottom and sides of your pan
- When your trahana has separated and the wheat bits are soft and look like single grains (click the video below to see what it should look like), add 225g of cubed halloumi and turn off the heat
- Add a sprinkling of ground black pepper for some heatToast some bread and then cut into bite sized cubes. Sprinkle your toasted cubes on top for a more filling meal