Tomorrow, October 27, is the first day of winter. As in the past ten years, it will be celebrated with Meat Soup Day on Skólavörðustígur in downtown Reykjavík, where passersby can enjoy a taste of free kjötsúpa, a classic culinary staple.
Kjötsúpa. Photo by Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir.
“It was just one pot and then it grew, year by year,” Jóhann Jónsson, owner of the deli and cheese store Ostabúðin, one the shops on Skólavörðustígur which organizes the event, told IR Street Edition.
“We are among the longest-standing stores on Skólavörðustígur and wanted to create a joyful atmosphere,” Jóhann adds. His Meat Soup Day partners are Eggert Jóhannsson of the fur design store Eggert feldskeri and Ófeigur Björnsson of the jewelry store Ófeigur gullsmiðja.
“For the tenth anniversary we thought we’d be a bit more radical. But the day will be of the same style as usual: live accordion, free soup, merchants opening their doors and everyone having fun,” promises Jóhann.
As in past years, there will be five to six soup stations on Skólavörðustígur, represented by a nearby restaurant or food store, each of which adds a special tweak to the traditional recipe of lamb broth, meat, potatoes and vegetables.
These include 3 Frakkar, whose master chef Úlfar Eysteinsson promises a spicy soup. “There is nothing as dull as bland soup,” he states. “We add Japanese soy sauce, which gives an interesting aftertaste. A little bit of horseradish doesn’t hurt either.”
The Meat Soup Day starts at 2 pm, and ritually, the first pot will be carried into Hegningarhúsið, the prison that stands on Skólavörðustígur.
The initiative is hugely appreciated by wardens and inmates alike. “There must be a reason for the prison always being full at this time,” jokes Jóhann. “They’re nice neighbors; one can’t complain.”
There will be 1,500 liters of meat soup available. This year, attendees can support farmers in North Iceland whose sheep perished in the blizzard that struck the region last month by donating money or bottles and cans for recycling, ruv.is reports.
Click here to read more about the blizzard and a lamb that survived after 40 days under a snow cover.
If you’d like to give kjötsúpa a try yourself, check out this recipe.