Greek Style Lentil Soup - Soupa Faki
GREEK STYLE LENTIL SOUP – SOUPA FAKI
AN ALL YEAR ROUND LENTIL SOUP – NOT JUST FOR WINTER!
This lentil soup is on high rotation during the cold and hot months in our house. It is a family favourite, my eldest daughter absolutely loves it. She always asks for seconds although I fill up her bowl completely. I often make double the amount and freeze it in portions for days that I don’t have time to cook a complete meal. The ingredients are so basic but oh sooooo good!
I use the brown lentils because they are smaller and they go well with a soup I think, plus the cooking time is reduced. However, if you can’t find them by all means use green lentils, the main difference with this recipe will be in the extra cooking time.
To remove the “gritty” taste that the lentils have I like to boil the lentils twice for short periods of time.I find that there is no residual flavour after that.
All the fragrances just work so well with the rest of the ingredients. I know a lot of people don’t quite like the taste of coriander so you can replace it. However, I do think it’s not too overpowering and in this case, it adds a kind of freshness to the lentil soup. The red wine vinegar is a must though, as it brings all the flavours of the lentil soup together and adds a really nice taste.
My favourite sides with the lentil soup would have to be black olives and dried rusks. I usually have a packet of barley rusks I buy in the pantry but i also make my own rusks from days old bread. It can be easily done by cutting the bread into 2cm thick slices and placing them on an oven tray in a single layer. You can then place the tray in a preheated oven at the conventional setting at 180oC. Let it bake for about 40min or until the bread is completely dried.
• 2 tbs olive oil
• 2 ½ cups brown lentils, 500g
• 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
• 1 brown onion, chopped
• ½ small bunch of coriander, finely chopped and separated
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1 tbs tomato paste
• 1 cup passata
• 2 large carrots, quartered lengthwise and then chopped
• 1 ½ cups celery, chopped
• ¾ tbs salt
• 2 L of warm/boiling water
• 1/3-1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1. Clean out and wash the lentils. Then parboil them for 7min in enough water to cover them. Strain the lentils and repeat the parboiling for another 7min. Then wash, strain and set aside the precooked lentils.
2. Meanwhile prepare the rest of the ingredients required. Chop the garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Chop the coriander but keep the stem and the leaves separated.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole and sauté the garlic and onion until they soften. Then add the cumin and coriander stems only, mixing well until they become fragrant.
4. Continue by adding the tomato paste and passata and let them cook with the rest of the ingredients for a few minutes. Then add the strained lentils, carrots, celery, salt and the 2L boiling water. Bring it all to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium allowing the soup to cook for 25-30min.
5. Once you turn it off add the red wine vinegar and the fresh coriander leaves. Serve warm with some crusty bread or homemade dried bread rusks and olives.