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9 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

The annual Icelandic Meat Soup Saturday: Free soup for all in downtown Reykjavík

By Staff

  • Soup for the soul If you can't make it to Skólavörðustígur street on Saturday, you can make your own soup, see recipe below. Photo/GVA

Visitors to the capital’s centre will be treated on Saturday to free traditional Icelandic Meat Soup in celebration of that winter is formally arriving in Iceland.

The First Day of Winter (fyrsti vetrardagur) is on 22 October this year. The date is based on the Old Norse calendar that divided the year into only two seasons, winter and summer. According to the calendar the First Day of Winter is almost always in the week of 21-27 October.

Traditional Icelandic meat soup is a hearty and popular meal, made from potatoes, turnips, rice, and lamb meat. It‘s a dish that‘s sure to warm and comfort on a chilly winters day.

The annual Icelandic Meat Soup Day always takes place on Skólavörðustígur Street, downtown Reykjavík. This is 14th consecutive time that the day is celebrated.

The event is organised by restaurant owners and shopkeepers in the area and Icelandic sheep and vegetable farmers. Guests are invited to sample the traditional Icelandic meat soup. The the first bowl of soup will be poured at 14 (2pm) on Saurday. Five restaurants will serve meat soup this year: Ostabúðin, Snafs, Sjávargrillið, Kol and Þrír frakkar. 

If you are occupied on Saturday (or in another country) you can make your own soup.

Recipe for Icelandic Meat Soup:
3 litres (0.7 gallons) of water
2.5 kg (55 lbs) of lamb meat (on the bone)
400 gr (14 ounces) turnips
400 gr (14 ounces) potatoes
200 gr (7 ounces) carrots
40 gr (1.4 ounces) rice
1 small onion, diced
5 cm of leek
5 tbs soup herbs
2 tbs salt
Black pepper to taste

Put the water in a large pot, dice the meat and bring to the boil. Skim the scum of the surface of the stock and continue to boil. Add the diced vegetables and rest of the ingredients to the pot. Boil for another hour. 

This article has been corrected. The First Day of Winter is on Saturday 22 October this year, not on the 24th as we said previously.

First day of Winter in the coming years
2017 - 21 October
2018 - 27 October
2019 - 26 October
2020 - 24 October
2021 - 23 October


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