Soupa Louvana me tiganisi | A gluten free & vegan Cypriot traditional soup!

I know that this is the second soup post in a row but in Cyprus the weather is changing rapidly and spring is around the corner, so I wanted to catch up with a few more winter recipes. Plus, the colour and the styling of this soup was something I wanted to share with you and I couldn’t wait any longer.

Louvana is the official Cypriot name of the soup, in Greece is called Fava while in English is simply a yellow split pea soup but as always every food has its name regardless where is done and produced and above all its own way in cooking.

Louvana with ‘tiganisi’ means split pea soup with plenty of fried pure olive oil, finely chopped onion and garlic and this how my grandma used to cook it. I kept the basic idea of course but added a bit of Athena’s styling and small variations in taste.

Louvana is, as I found out researching for the recipe, a vegan and above all a gluten free recipe, so this makes it more versatile in bigger group of people to create it and eat it. Its colour as unique as its taste but the ‘tiganisi’ thing is what makes the soup so tasty and special. In Cyprus and greek ‘tiganisi’ is a cooking procedure we use for a lot of our food including, black-eye beans, lentils and plenty of more others, just to give to the food this extra boost in taste. When you are creating the ‘tiganisi’ the incredible smells from your kitchen will spread around the neighbourhood since is so unique but you need to be prepare for an intense smell and taste. You must be a garlic lover and above all, use plenty of Greek pure olive oil. Louvana is high in protein and low in fat and although is served with a small dose of micro leafs, louvana can be served with a side salad with plenty of greens, Kalamata black olives, a chunky piece of feta cheese and plenty of pure olive oil.

Ingredients:

For the soup:

  • 1, ½ cup of louvana, split peas
  • 1L drinking water
  • 1 chicken stock
  • ¼ cup of white rice, preferably Carolina (optional)

For the ‘tiganisi’:

  • 1 cup of pure Greek olive oil, preferably Kalamata
  • 1 big red onion, finely chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Toppings:

  • Micro leafs of any kind
  • Chopped walnuts (optional)

Side dish: (optional)

  • 500g of Greek Feta cheese
  • Green salad leafs
  • Kalamata black olives
  • Plenty of pure olive oil and lemon to serve
  • Bring the water to the boil and add the chicken stock.
  • When the water is boiling add the fava beans and boil for 45 minutes or until is mashed on its own. I f you are adding rice, add after 30 minutes of boiling
  • Set aside and allow the soup to rest.
  • For the tiganisi. In a small frying pan add the pure olive oil and when is hot (not burning hot) add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until soft but not burned!
  • Add ½ of the mixture to the soup and stir.
  • Add the micros (and walnuts) and the rest of the mixture on top of the soup.
  • Serve with salad or plan Feta cheese with plenty of pure olive oil.

Kali orexi!!