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("Iceland Moss" Milk, from the lichen Cetraria islandica)

This is the second only soup I've posted on the site without trying first--not for lack of interest, but for lack of ingredients. Again, many thanks for this traditional Icelandic recipe to Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir, author of Matarást ( or, Love of Food), her comprehensive cooking encyclopedia that includes 1,600 recipes and some 3,000 entries. She says about this soup that it was made of "a staple of traditional Icelandic cuisine that is little used now--Iceland moss, not a moss really, but a type of lichen that was much used in many kinds of dishes--breads, soups, porridge, meat dishes, etc." Serve hot in small cups to 4 people.

  • A handful of Iceland Moss (Cetraria islandica lichen)
  • 4 cups (1 liter) milk
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar or brown sugar
  • salt to taste
Wash the lichen carefully and drain. Heat the milk to boiling point in a pan. Add the lichen and sugar and simmer for 10 minutes. Salt to taste and serve.