Revithia Recipe: Traditional Greek Chickpea Soup with Lemon

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Revithia Recipe: Traditional Greek Chickpea Soup with Lemon

Recipe by GreekFood Course: SidesCuisine: greekDifficulty: Easy
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

12

hours 
Calories

250

kcal

Revithia, also known as Revithosoupa, is a traditional Greek chickpea soup with lemon. It’s a popular dish in Greek cuisine and is known for its simple yet flavorful preparation.

Ingredients

  • Dried chickpeas: 1 cup

  • Olive oil: 2-3 tablespoons

  • Onion: 1 medium, finely chopped

  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced

  • Lemon juice: From 1 lemon

  • Bay leaves: 2

  • Salt: To taste

  • Pepper: To taste

  • Water: 6 cups (or as needed)

  • Optional: Fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme

Directions

  • Soak the Chickpeas: Soak the Chickpeas overnight in plenty of water. This helps in reducing cooking time and makes them easier to digest.
  • Drain and Rinse: Drain the chickpeas and rinse them well.
  • Cooking the Chickpeas: Place the chickpeas in a large pot with fresh water (about 6 cups). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Skim off any foam that rises to the top.
  • Add Flavorings: Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, bay leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. If you’re using herbs like rosemary or thyme, add them now.
  • Simmer: Let the soup simmer gently for about 1-1.5 hours or until the chickpeas are tender. Keep an eye on the water level and add more if necessary.
  • Final Touches: Once the chickpeas are cooked, remove the bay leaves (and herbs if you used them). Add the lemon juice and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Serve: Serve the soup hot. Drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Quality of Chickpeas: Use good quality dried chickpeas for the best flavor and texture. While canned chickpeas are convenient, they don’t absorb flavors as well as dried ones that have been soaked and cooked.
  • Soaking Time: Soak the chickpeas for at least 12 hours. This not only shortens the cooking time but also makes them more digestible.
  • Slow Cooking: Traditional Revithada is slow-cooked, often in a clay pot. If you have the time, cook it on low heat for several hours. This slow-cooking method enhances the flavor and makes the chickpeas incredibly tender.
  • Pressure Cooker Option: If you use a pressure cooker, the cooking time will significantly reduce.
  • Creamier Soup: You can puree a portion of the soup and mix it back in for a creamier texture.
  • Herbs and Spices: Don’t be afraid to adjust the herbs and spices. Traditional recipes often call for bay leaves and oregano, but you can also try adding thyme or rosemary for a different flavor profile.
  • Storage: This soup stores well in the fridge for up to a week and freezes beautifully.
  • Lemon Juice: Adding lemon juice at the end of cooking brightens the dish. You can also add a bit of lemon zest for an extra zing.
  • Olive Oil: Use good quality olive oil for sautéing and a final drizzle before serving. It adds a rich, authentic Greek flavor.
  • Cooking Liquid: Don’t discard the water used for boiling the chickpeas. It’s full of flavor and can be used to adjust the dish’s consistency as it cooks.
  • Garnish: Before serving, garnish with fresh parsley or dill and a sprinkle of feta cheese for an extra touch of Greek flavor.
  • Resting Time: Let the dish rest for a bit after cooking. This allows the flavors to meld together more fully.
  • Pairing: Serve with crusty bread, pita, or over rice. A side salad with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives also pairs well.

What to serve with Revithia?

Serving Revithia, the Greek Chickpea Soup, offers an opportunity to create a wholesome and satisfying meal. Here are some ideas for dishes and accompaniments that pair well with it:

  1. Crusty Bread: A loaf of fresh, crusty bread like a baguette or sourdough is perfect for dipping into the soup and absorbing its flavors.
  2. Greek Salad: Complement the soup with a refreshing Greek salad made with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil and vinegar.
  3. Rice or Quinoa: Serve the soup over a bed of cooked rice or quinoa for a heartier meal.
  4. Roasted Vegetables: Pair the soup with a side of roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, eggplants, or carrots seasoned with herbs and olive oil.
  5. Grilled Fish or Chicken: If you want to add protein, grilled fish or chicken can be a light yet satisfying choice.
  6. Feta and Olives: Offer a plate of feta cheese and mixed olives as a tangy, salty side.
  7. Tzatziki Sauce: Serve a small bowl of tzatziki, a yogurt-based cucumber dip, which can be an excellent, creamy contrast to the warm soup.
  8. Spinach Pie (Spanakopita): A slice of spinach pie, with its flaky pastry and savory filling, is a delightful accompaniment.
  9. Lemon Wedges: Additional lemon wedges on the side allow guests to adjust the lemony flavor of their soup to taste.
  10. Greek Wine or Ouzo: A glass of Greek wine or a small serving of ouzo can complement the meal nicely for an adult gathering.

These sides enhance the flavors of the Revithia and create a balanced and visually appealing meal.

The Essence of Greek Cuisine

Greece, a land where the azure seas meet sun-drenched landscapes, offers a culinary tradition as rich and deep as its history. Among its array of delightful dishes, Revithia stands out as a testament to the simple yet profound flavors that Greek cuisine is celebrated for. Revithia, or Greek Chickpea Soup, is not just a dish; it’s a warm embrace of rustic comfort, especially cherished during the cooler months.

A Journey Through Time

The origins of Revithia trace back to the simple, frugal times of Greek history. Chickpeas, a staple in the Mediterranean diet, were a common ingredient for the ancient Greeks. Over the centuries, this humble legume has been transformed into a soul-soothing soup that encapsulates the essence of traditional Greek cooking – nutritious, straightforward, and deeply satisfying.

The Simplicity of Ingredients

The beauty of Revithia lies in its simplicity. The key ingredients are few, but each plays a pivotal role in bringing the soup to life:

  • Chickpeas: The star of the dish, providing a creamy texture and a nutty flavor.
  • Olive Oil: A hallmark of Greek cooking, adding richness and depth.
  • Onion and Garlic: For that essential aromatic base.
  • Lemon Juice: A splash of freshness, brightening the soup’s earthy flavors.
  • Bay Leaves: Adding a subtle layer of complexity.
  • Herbs: Optional but recommended, like rosemary or thyme, for an aromatic touch.

The Cooking Process: A Labor of Love

Preparing Revithia is a process that demands patience but rewards with unmatched flavor. It begins with soaking the chickpeas overnight, a crucial step for a tender outcome. The soup is then slowly simmered, allowing the flavors to meld beautifully. Adding lemon juice just before serving is the perfect finishing touch, lending a refreshing zest to the hearty soup.

Nutritional Profile

Revithia isn’t just about taste; it’s also a powerhouse of nutrition. Chickpeas are rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients, making the soup comforting and incredibly wholesome. It’s a perfect example of how Greek cuisine combines health with flavor.

Versatility in Serving

This soup is adaptable and can be tailored to various dietary preferences. It can be enjoyed in its rustic, chunky form, or blended into a smoother consistency. It’s often served with a drizzle of olive oil and a side of crusty bread, making it a complete meal in itself.

A Symbol of Greek Hospitality

In Greece, food is synonymous with hospitality, and Revithia is a dish often shared with family and friends, symbolizing warmth and generosity. It’s common to find this soup at family gatherings, where it’s served with love and often accompanied by stories and laughter.

Conclusion

Revithia is more than just a soup; it’s a culinary journey that transports you to the heart of Greek culture. It embodies the principles of Greek cooking – simplicity, nutrition, and flavor. Whether you’re seeking comfort on a cold day or looking to explore the depths of Greek cuisine, a bowl of Revithia is sure to satisfy. So, embrace the warmth of Greek hospitality and savor the delightful flavors of this timeless dish.

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