There’s no tastier comfort food than this one pot Quick Greek Lentil Soup.
Gluten free, dairy free and vegan!
Perfect for Meatless Mondays and religious holidays when you can’t have meat but
need a filling, satisfying meal.
Meat lovers, add in smoked meat or chicken, sausage or bacon. Mmmm.
Lentils are legumes, like beans, but they cook quickly, so there’s no overnight soaking.
My husband teases me that I love to say the word l-e-g-u-m-e.
It rolls off the tongue and sounds fancy, like caviar.
Quite the contrary, legumes like lentils are humble fare.
From Greece to India to the USA, they’re popular because they’re cheap, easy to make and season.
A rainbow of colors.
According to the The Flavor Bible : “Green lentils are more flavorful than brown or red”.
Experiment with different varieties and see which ones you like best.
Quick Greek Lentil Soup is a traditional mediterranean blend of onion, carrot, tomato paste, oregano, bay leaf and thyme.
Soften the onion, add in lentils, flavorings and spices.
Simmer with water or unsalted broth for thirty minutes until soft but not mushy.
Tip: When cooking lentils (or dried beans), don’t add salt until the very end or they may not soften completely.
Like thicker soup? Puree about one-third of the lentils and vegetables after cooking and add back to the pot.
Just before serving: toss in spinach and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a splash of sherry vinegar.
Rather make lentil pilaf instead? Omit spinach and drain liquid ( save for another use) after cooking.
Other lentil combinations (again from The Flavor Bible):
lentils + cumin + turmeric or curry blend
lentils + olive oil + turnip greens + parsley
lentils + sausage+ bell pepper+ onion+ garlic
lentils + bacon + bay leaf + thyme+ sherry vinegar
An “A” in nutrition.
Check out the nutrition label under the recipe below.
High in fiber, protein and low in fat, feel good about this delicious one pot meal! **************************************************************************
In the third century B.C., the Stoic philosophers said:
“A wise man (or woman) does all things right, including the seasoning of lentil soup.”
Be wise and dig in!
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Make it fast and savor every bite of this delicious and Quick Greek Lentil Soup.
- 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil (30 ml)
- 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped (10 oz/300 gm)
- 2 1/2 cups green or red lentils, picked over and well rinsed (16 oz/454 gm)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (45 gm)
- 1 bay leaf, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 – 1 small dried red chile pepper, stem and seeds removed and finely chopped (optional)
- 10 oz carrots, chopped (or mix of chopped carrots and celery) (300 gm)
- 8-10 cups water (2400ml) (use less water for a thicker soup)
- 6 oz baby spinach (180 gm), washed, stems removed, roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- lemon wedges
- In a large, non reactive pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion until very soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add in lentils and stir to combine.
- Then add in tomato paste, bay leaf, herbs, black pepper and chile pepper (if using).
- Add carrots, water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until lentils are very soft but not falling apart, about 30 minutes.
- For thicker soup, puree about one-third of the lentils and vegetables after cooking and add
- back to the pot.
- Stir in spinach + salt, adjust for seasonings and serve with lemon wedges.
- Optional: Before serving, add in one or more of the following: chopped chicken or sausage, cubed cooked potatoes, a dollop of sour cream, additional chopped fresh herbs.
- To make lentil pilaf instead: omit spinach and drain liquid (save for another use) after cooking.
Adapted from Susanna Hoffman’s The Olive and the Caper