Now that the temperature has cooled in Gozo, many locals and visitors seize the opportunity to get out and about in the open air, enjoying our alluring flora and fauna, first hand. If you relish the invigorating sting of the sea-air whipping against your cheeks on a bracing coastal trek or countryside walks amidst green rolling hills, then the good news is Gozo has all this and more for you to enjoy.
Whatever hiking backdrop you crave, coastal or rural – Gozo’s landscape is laden with natural wonders to please and punctuate your journey. Brimming with wildlife, our Summer to Autumnal landscape sensationally transforms from a sun-drenched yellow to a lush green, erupting with life, scent, colour and texture.
Hiking season is here and what better way to round off a day spent among friends than with a warming, heartening bowl of traditional soothing soup. Soup for the soul, to warm your bones and reward your healthy endeavours.
Like many other European regions, the Maltese Islands have a variety of authentic, traditional soups created with seasonal ingredients. Tasty soup dishes which convey history, tradition, and culture in each sumptuous sip, and which taste delicious.
Dishes such as Kusku (a filling, thick rich soup made from kusksu (a type of pasta), broad beans, and goats’ cheese). Aljotta is, totally different, this is a strong tasting, fish soup harking back to the times of the famous Knights of St John and is made using small fish or fish heads, cooked with garlic, onion, mint, marjoram, basil – and with lemon and rice added to thicken and flavour. Brodu tal-laħam is a luxuriously tasting meat broth, created by slow cooking beef bones, vegetables, tomato, and onions.
A famous Maltese soup dish, popular throughout the Autumn/Winter is The Soppa tal-Armla, which roughly translates as Widow’s Soup. The soup’s name originates from the Medieval practice of gifting penniless, widowed women with vegetables and other available produce, which they would use to create the most filling dish possible. This soup was a staple during poorer times, when humble Gozitans lived on what they could afford to grow in their fields and farms. As meat was often a treat saved for special occasions.
This flavourful, hearty soup is packed with ingredients, making it rich, filling and incredibly tasty. First of all, parsley, garlic and onion are slowly sautéed in butter and olive oil. Before other ingredients, such as kohlrabi (Maltese cabbage), carrot, potato, beans, celery, cauliflower, and peas are added, together with seasoning. The soup is then brought to a boil, simmering for about 90 minutes until all of the vegetables are cooked – creating a thick, soup. After which, the ġbejniet (Maltese cheeselets) and a poached egg is added and cooked for a few more minutes, before the soup is finally garnished with parsley.
Don’t underestimate this hearty vegetarian soup’s punch, because it is fantastically filling. Once tasted, you’ll understand why this sumptuous soup has withstood the test of time.
Why not let nature nurture your soul and your stomach, try Soppa tal-Armla for yourself – it’s a perfect remedy and recipe after a day out encountering Autumn’s elements!