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Greek "Polyspori" or "Ospriada" - A delicious and incredibly nutritious vegan soup with legumes & grains in only 5 minutes of your time!
You will love it!

"Polyspori", "ospriada", "bollia", "bourbourelia", "mageria", pallikaria", "papoudia", psarocolyva" or "photocolyva". Names for a food that was traditionally prepared as an offering to the gods for the crop to go well. From all the recipes we have so far on the site, this one has the most interesting story. Myths, beliefs and traditions claim its origin and are mentioned relatively below.

What is "polyspori" and why is it vegan?

But first let's see what "polyspori" is. It's exactly what its greek name implies. In greek "poly" means "many" and "spori" is the plural of "sporos" that mean "seed". So, is a mixture of different "seeds", ie grains and legumes and of course it is vegan (so vegetarian and fasting too). We can find this mix ready in the stores or make our own. The one that we made has dried beans (small and medium white beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, bead beans, mung beans and black), lentils (brown, orange and black), chickpeas, split peas, wheat and dried peas. Our final soup has additionally vegetables and herbs that give it a wonderful rich and unique taste.

There are many variations including more ingredients, such as broad beans, barley or even corn, but also different ways of serving, such as with walnuts, pomegranate, raisins, sugar and cinnamon.

Usually "polyspori" is a pulpy soup but this is not necessary. The pulpy feel can be achieved by simmering or adding a little flour. However, we simmer it to get a kind of pulp look, and just before it will be ready, we can mushed in a blender or a multi half cup of our boiled legumes and grains and add them back to the pot, in order to have a more pulp like soup.

"Polyspori" origin and story

"Polyspori" in ancient Athens

In ancient Athens, there was the feast of Pyanopsia or Pyanepsia or Panopsia (part of the great feast of Thissia), during which they made bloodless sacrifices of nuts and fruits in honor of the god Apollo. These "seeds" were the first to be harvested. This celebration took place in the month of Pyanepsion, whose name comes from the words "pyanos" (broad bean) and "epsi" (boil). It was celebrated on the seventh day of this month, that is, the day that Theseus returned after killing the Minotaur (a Greek's mythology monster, a huge man with bulls head). Not so vegan idea, but this is the myth. Theseus had asked Apollo for help and had promise to made sacrifices for him if they returned alive. Keeping his promise, when they returned, they cooked what was left. Thus, they boiled various grains and legumes. That is, something like today's "polyspori".

"Polyspori" in Christianity

In the Christian practices, it's followed a similar tradition to sow well and have a good harvest. Thus, in various regions of Greece they make "polyspori" on November 21 (Presentation of Mary). This is the day of the Virgin Mary (mother of Jesus) that they call "Polysporitissa", "Mesosporitissa", "Misosporitissa", "Archisporitissa" or "Xesporitissa". In other areas, November 30 is the chosen date, ie the feast of St. Andrew.

Our recipe for the vegan "polyspori"

Our recipe is of course vegan but also incredibly nutritious and with a unique taste! It is one of the few foods that while it looks complicated in appearance, and while it is almost a rule that children prefer simple foods, they will probably love "polyspori"!

We suggest to use as a base, any "polyspori mix" found in stores, with a wide variety of "seeds" and add extra legumes and grains that you like. We unreservedly suggest that you pulp a bit your soup, either by grinding half a cup of polyspore in the multi (after it has boiled almost completely) or by adding red lentils from the beginning, which they will boil much faster than the beans and melt. The same but to a lesser extent we achieve with split peas (fava beans).

Try it today... and thank us later! :)

Photo of a bowl of "Polyspori" or "legume" soup. A vegan seed-based soup, ie a mixture of legumes and cereals.

Greek "Polyspori" or "Ospriada" - A wonderful and nutritious legumes & grains vegan soup that you will love!

Polyspore or legume. An incredibly nutritious vegan soup that you will love!
4.86 from 7 votes
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Course: Main, Main Course, Soup, Main, Main Dishes, Main Plate, soup
Cuisine: Greek, Greek / Vegan, Greek traditional, Ελληνική, Ελληνική / Βίγκαν (vegan), Ελληνική Παραδικάτική
Keywords: peas, carrot, red beans, legumes, legumes, multigrain, wheat, soup, fava beans, lentils
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 portions
Calories: 329kcal
Author: Thodoris Tibilis

Ingredients

Ingredients for the vegan "polyspori" ("ospriada")

  • 250  g polyspore see in the notes how to make your own
  • 1 onion
  • 5 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup celery
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp thyme ideally, we replace ½ etc. with savory
  • ½ tsp ground coriander optionally
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

Vegan "polyspori" ("ospriada")

  • Soak the "polyspori" for 8 hours in cold water (or for 2 in boiled).
  • Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan and in the meantime grate the tomato, slice the carrot and finely chop the onion, garlic and celery.
  • Put all our ingredients in the pot and simmer with the lid closed for 35 minutes.

Serving

  • Serve it plain, with lemon, or accompany it with olives and toasted bread.

Notes

  1. If we want our soup to be a little more viscous our soup (i.e. to boil), we can grind in a multi or blender half a cup of our boiled legumes and grains and add them back to the pot. Mainly the orange lentils and the fava beans will melt more than the other ingredients and they are the ones that will give to our soup a more pulpy texture.
  2. We make our "polyspori" mixing in equal amounts (or in proportions we prefer):
    • dried beans (white fine or medium, kidney beans, black-eyed beans, bead beans, mung beans, black beans)
    • lentils (brown, orange, black)
    • chickpeas
    • split peas (fava beans)
    • wheat
    • dried peas
  3. We can also add:
    • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
    • 1 chopped leek
    • half cup of corn
    • rice (in this case we will need a little more broth or water)

Nutrition Facts

Sodium: 1216mg | Calcium: 80mg | Vitamin C: 11mg | Vitamin A: 3636IU | Sugar: 7g | Fiber: 21g | Potassium: 851mg | Calories: 329kcal | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 8g | Protein: 17g | Carbohydrates: 49g | Iron: 6mg