An Old Fashioned Lentil Soup Recipe
This Lentil soup recipe goes way back in time. Even thousands of years ago, Greeks used to include a lot of legumes in their diet. In fact, they were a staple to their everyday table. Since they were (and still are) easy to store without spoiling. And the preferred way of eating them was cooked into a soup along with olive oil, garlic and onions all favored for their health benefits.
This humble and simple Lentil soup served along with a piece of bread and a glass of red wine is what the Ancient Greek diet is all about. Olive oil, wine, and wheat was the Ancient Greeks holly trinity!
This nutritious soup has an amazing earthy flavor. It’s simply cooked along with onions, garlic, olive oil, and bay leaves. When we serve this soup in Greece we always add a few drops of vinegar to it. It adds a nice hint of acidity to it.
We also like to serve it along with olives, or salt-cured sardines or anchovies (another Ancient Greeks favorite).
A Healthy & Nutritious Soup
This Ancient Greek lentil soup is really one of the best and most nutritious foods to include in your weekly meal plan. Lentils are a great source of iron and dietary fiber. They’re also a budget-friendly meal to feed a whole family. And if it is a good variety of lentils they’ll also get cooked quick enough without having to use a pressure cooker.
And like most Greek soups this soup gets nice and thick by simmering and stirring with plenty of olive oil. Real extra virgin olive oil can thicken a soup. That is if it’s not of a bad quality that’s mixed with water or other oils. Check my post about olive oil to see how to check if your olive oil is real.
As for the variations of this soup, in northern parts of Greece, it is made along with tomato. And this is my version of lentil tomato soup that’s cooked with fresh veggies. It’s very delicious as well!
Greek Lentil Soup Recipe
- 1 and a half cup of medium sized brown lentils
- 1 small onion minced
- 2 large garlic cloves chopped
- 1 large bay leave dried
- 40 ml olive oil
- few drops of red wine vinegar
- In a medium sized cooking pot add about 1 liter of hot water and bring to a boil. Add the lentils and let them boil for 5 minutes.
- Using your cooking's pot lid, leave about 1 inch of space to drain the water from the pot. You could also use a strainer, if you own one that has very tiny holes. (We don't want the lentils to fall out)
- Refill the cooking pot with water (about 3 fingers higher than the lentils) bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and and add the minced onion, the chopped garlic cloves and the dried bay leave.
- Season with salt and pepper and let simmer for about 45minutes to 1 hour. (The time really depends on the variety of the lentils) Try a few to check if they are ready.
- Once the lentils are cooked and the water reduced by ⅔, add the olive oil. At this point you have to stir constantly, because the oil will start to thicken the soup.
- Keep stirring for about 10 minutes. By now you should have a nice pretty thick soup.
- Serve with a few drops of red vinegar in each portion.
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