Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
This recipe is the most like Olga's Peasant Soup because it is made with lamb and barley.
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 3⁄4 cup quick-cooking barley
- 1 (15 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 2 small zucchini, diced
- 10 ounces frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots, beans, corn)
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1⁄4 teaspoon thyme
- 1⁄4 teaspoon Greek oregano
- 1⁄4 cup dried parsley
- salt and pepper
- In a large pot, brown lamb, onion and celery only until lamb is no longer pink.
- Drain off fat.
- Add tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf and broth.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add Quick barley, zucchini, frozen vegetables, thyme, oregano, and parsley.
- Then reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with toasted pita bread triangles.
OK so I am an absolute Olga's fan and LOVE their peasant soup! I was bound and determined to replicate it. Having said that I recently went to our local Olga's for lunch, ordered the soup and dissected it as best as I could. I even enlisted our server to help me with the ingredients which she did. This recipe is close but needs a few important alterations. First off, there is no corn or diced tomatoes in the original soup so nix the tomatoes and get a bag of green beans and a bag of peas and carrots and use about half of each. Unless you don't care if there's corn in it then knock yourself out. Next, the restaurant uses ground gyro meat which is beef and lamb not ground lamb. I found gyro meat frozen and sliced at GFS (Gordon Food Store) and it was pretty good! Put that in a food processor and blend it up until diced then sauté it in stockpot. I should have drained off the fat, next time I will. The restaurant uses chicken broth/stock NOT veggie broth and they also use tomato paste. I used half and half of chicken stock and veggie stock/broth and doubled the amount. I used one small can of tomato paste. I cooked it all up but it still wasn't quite right. I agreed with a previous reviewer about it lacking sweetness so I added a bit of sugar but that still wasn't right. So I added a can of tomato soup for tomatoey sweetness and a bit more veggie broth and voila! The closest thing I can get next to heading to the restaurant.
This is very close to how I remember Olga's Peasant Soup tasting. I haven't eaten there in years but it was delicious just the same. Next time I will add more broth, as it was very thick. I will definitely be making this again.
Made this using my leftover Easter lamb. I made stock from scratch, used raw veggies (not frozen or canned), and doubled the recipe. Since my lamb was already cooked, I followed the rest I the instructions and just added the cold, cooked, minced up lamb into the pot when I added the barley. It tastes great - much like Olga's - but I thought it was lacking a little sweetness so I added a few pinches of sugar. Thanks!