QUARANTINE DIARIES, COMFORT FOOD & ALL THE SMALL THINGS THAT KEEP US GOING
Are you ready for a holiday? I am very ready! The team at Kallichoron is getting ready for summer, they also shared their experience and their comfort food, a lentil soup from Astypalea.
A few words about you and where did the quarantine find you?
The quarantine found us at Kallichoron Art Bourtique Hotel in Astypalea, preparing to welcome our first spring guests.
What did it change for you ?
This period was a unique opportunity to enjoy some quality time with our family, think creatively about our work, learn something new, relax and enjoy every single moment as well as plan for the future.
As a hotel, we had to be constantly informed about developments and adjust our plans for the next day. Health and safety of our guests, our personnel as well as our community is paramount at this time. Facing up to the new reality of covid-19, we put up a dedicated webpage in collaboration with our scientific partners. Its aim is to inform our guests on our actions and to best support them plan a safe visit to our island.
Technology helps a lot too, we still share our favourite spots of the island and travel to the rich history of Astypalea, its unique culinary heritage as well as beautiful moments of Kallichoron Art Boutique Hotel. As the song goes ‘Our minds are spirits always on the go’. Ah, we can’t wait to welcome everyone back to Astypalea.
How many loo-rolls can you count in your cupboards?
We did have stock, it was not one of our worries! Neither was coffee, as Taf Coffee (the only one in Astypalea) made sure to stock us up on premium, specialty coffee!
Comfort food – lentil soup from Astypalea
Gastronomy is at the core of tourism and I think we all agree that enjoying good food is at the heart of our island culture. Astypalea is an island with each own unique cultural and gastronomical heritage. Through our local producers and regional cuisine, the traveler can meet the land in taste.
We would like to share a favourite Astypalean recipe from yiayia Maria, a lentil soup with a special twist, rantista or arantista as we call them. A very simple but extremely tasty lentil soup with small dough bites.
Lentil soup from Astypalea
- 500 gr lentils
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves
- 400 gr chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsn salt
- 1 tbspn pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
For the dough
- 250 gr flour
- 100 ml water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the caramelised onions
- 2 onions, cut in cubes
- 200 ml extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh mint or dried
- Boil the lentils in enough water to cover for 5 minutes and we strain.
- Return the lentils back to the pot and cook them as a soup.
- Chop the onions in small cubes and saute in a bit of olive oil, until caramelized. Add in the garlic and put off with a bit of vinegar.
- For the dough, put the flour on a sheet pan and sprinkle with water. We roll to make small balls like miniature pasta. Once the lentil soup is ready, we add the dough balls and let boil for 2-3 minutes. We then add the caramelized onion and fresh mint to serve.
How do you cope?
Creatively! The lockdown period gave us the opportunity to re-think our business, see what we are doing and why, to envision and get ready for a very different tomorrow. Obviously, green innovation and sustainability is at the heart of our business. We always keep these principles in mind and heart and that’s how we mean to carry forward, facing the new reality for tourism as a challenge and an opportunity to do things better.
Where will you go eat once this madness is over?
How could we leave our paradise now that summer is here? We are all for Astypalea and we hope to have you around so you can safely enjoy your holidays with infinite view of Aegean blue, great traditional food from Mrs Evdokia at our hotel of course!
Share a wish, just so we can finish on a happy note.
We will meet again, very soon. It might be different in the beginning but it will still be beautiful, with an authentic, island air. Hope is like the sea, it cannot be stopped.
from Astypalea with love,
PS: You can be part of my quarantine cuisine diaries too. If you want to share your experience on Eat Yourself Greek (EYG), please drop me a line here. Thanks, Eugeniaby