Mount Athos fish soup with Paggaio tahini in memory of our Founding member Gerontas Epifanios
In the old days in Greece, there were no lemons. But they had vineyards and produced vinegar, which they used. Also, olive oil was not used all over Greece, in the region of Macedonia and Thrace, sesame and sunflower seeds were cultivated, from where they produced sesame oil, sunflower oil, and of course the favourite tahini.
This particular recipe is from the monks of Mount Athos that are known not to eat meat, so they took an old fish soup recipe and invented this recipe. An old cook saved this technique and in fact, this particular soup was famous.
- 1 kg of fresh mussels with their shells, cleaned
- 500gr. Quinces, grated and washed very well to leave the sand
- 1 kg small crayfish cleaned and the small intestine removed
- 300gr. Shrimp cleaned and the intestine removed
- 200gr. Squids cleaned, washed, and cut into thin strips
- 500gr. Stonefish cleaned and washed
- 1 lettuce cut into 4 cm pieces
- 200gr. Tahini
- 200 ml of vinegar
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 1 bunch of chopped fresh onions
- 1 bunch of chopped dill
- 100gr. Glutinous rice
- 100 ml white wine
- 1 tbsp. Flour
- 50 ml olive oil
Method of preparation
In a shallow saucepan, bring to a boil the fish and shells with water that covers them. In a deep saucepan, put half the oil and pour in the squid. Once the coarse has subsided, add the mussels, when they open, we take them out on a plate. In a pan put the quinces with the wine to be steamed, covered with a lid. Quinces should not be moved at all because they make sand, one by one we open them and remove them on the plate with the mussels. Any quince that does not open, we take it away.
The liquids that will come out are slowly emptied into the deep pot and as soon as they are about to finish we stop because the sand has come out in the bottom.
In the meantime, the stonefishes are boiled, which we carefully remove to another platter to cool and clean them. Pass the broth through a fine tea strainer, so as not to have scales, and fill in the deep pot. Dissolve the flour with cold water and add it to broths. Add the lettuce, onion, remaining olive oil and leave on a strong fire to boil well.
When they are half boiled, add the washed rice and the saffron. Just before it is ready, add the shrimp and crayfish. Put the tahini in a deep pan and add the vinegar while stirring. The tahini tightens with the acid, so when it starts to tighten add from the broth, as in eggnog. When it is ready, throw it in the pot, add the shells, and put on high heat. As soon as it starts to boil, pull it out of the fire, sprinkle with dill, if necessary season with salt and pepper and serve.