Winter Welcomed with Meat Soup Street Fest Skip to content

Winter Welcomed with Meat Soup Street Fest

Saturday, October 23, is the first day of winter according to the old Icelandic calendar. The day will be celebrated with a street festival on Skólavördustígur in central Reykjavík where passersby can sample free Icelandic meat soup.


Icelandic meat soup. Photo: Eygló Svala Arnarsdóttir.

“I cooked close to 200 liters of soup last year, so it will be around one ton of soup from all of us,” Úlfar Eysteinsson at the restaurant Thrír Frakkar, who will be among the chefs donating their work on Saturday, told Morgunbladid.

The other chefs are Eiríkur Ingi Fridgeirsson and Fridgeir Eiríksson at Hótel Holt, Hrafnkell Sigrídarson and Theódór Breki Árnason at Hótel Ódinsvé and Dóra Svavarsdóttir at Á naestu grösum. The ingredients will be provided by Icelandic sheep and vegetable farmers.

The chefs will start preparing the soup tomorrow, each according to their own recipe. They say that although Icelandic meat soup always contains lamb, there are many variations. Different types of vegetables are used and some also include rice or oatmeal.

Svavarsdóttir will make both vegetable and meat soup because Á naestu grösum is a vegetarian restaurant. People can also expect her meat soup to have a lot of vegetables, tomatoes, for example, which are rarely used in meat soup and also barley.

The festival begins formally at 2 pm when one of the participating chefs will carry a full pot of soup into Hegningarhúsid, the prison on Skólavördustígur, so the inmates can also get a taste of meat soup. The street fest will include poetry reading, music and other events.

Click here to watch an audio slideshow on how to make Icelandic meat soup and here to watch how the pagan society in Iceland celebrates the first day of winter.

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