Ev's Lentil Soup (Greek - Fakess)

Recipe by evelynathens
READY IN: 2hrs 20mins
SERVES: 10-12
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
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DIRECTIONS

  • In a large pot, cover lentils with boiling water and allow to boil for 10 minutes.
  • Drain lentils of this ‘first boiling’ (greeks think that this process makes the lentils easier to digest – I prefer it).
  • Put lentils back into pot.
  • Add bulgar or barley (if using), onions, garlic, carrots, tomato paste, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
  • Pour 2 ½ quarts of boiling water over lentils, bring to a boil.
  • When mixture boils, decrease temperature to leave the lentils cooking at a simmer and cook, covered, for 1 ½ hours.
  • Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar and simmer ½ an hour longer.
  • Taste.
  • If the lentils are still too firm to the bite, allow to cook until they are tender and soup has thickened (soup will continue to thicken as it cools).
  • If the soup is too thick, you can thin with a little hot water.
  • Traditionally, we eat this soup with lots of Kalamata olives, feta cheese and crusty bread.
  • I serve half the soup on one day and freeze the other half (it freezes beautifully) to serve on another day when I’m too busy to cook.
  • Crockpot Version: Put all the ingredients except for olive oil and balsamic vinegar into your crockpot.
  • Cook on low for 7 hours.
  • Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar and cook a further 2 hours.
  • Ev's notes: You can enrich this already delicious soup by making a couple of variations. Add 1/2 lb of minced bacon, but cut back the olive oil to a couple of tablespoonfuls; or add 1 lb of sliced sausage, like Kielbasa. Again, cut back on the oil.
  • New note: (added Dec. 27, 2004) I have taken to adding 1/2 cup bulgur wheat to this soup when I add all the other ingredients; it makes the soup more nutritionally complete if totally vegetarian, and really good and hearty; I strongly urge you try this version.
  • Freezer Note: This makes quite a lot of soup - definitely enough for 2 meals (plus a little extra for the super-hungry) for my family of 5. I have taken to freezing half the batch to provide me with a quick, nutritious dinner further on down the line when time is short and you don't want to resort to ordering inches Just defrost in microwave, reheat well and serve.
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