Monday, October 13, 2014

Greek Lentil Soup

Lentil soup is probably one of my favorite comfort foods.  I make several varieties utilizing many different types of lentils.  I also always seem to have the ingredients for a lentil soup so it is one of my go-to meals.  Usually, I make my classic Italian version but I decided to go Greek this time since I had quite a bit of pantry items to use up.   I just love the way dill, lemon, and feta, brighten up dishes.  A big bowl of this on a chilly day warms the soul!














Greek Lentil Soup

4-6 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, cored and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 Tbsp. of tomato paste
1 Tbsp. of Greek seasoning (sodium free)
a bundle of fresh thyme (or 1/2 Tbsp. of dried thyme)
1 tsp. of crushed red pepper (optional)
4-6 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
1 1/2 cups of green lentils, sorted and rinsed
1/4 cup of fresh dill, roughly chopped (or 1 heaping Tbsp. of dried dill weed)
8 cups of water
Himalayan salt
fresh ground black pepper
half a 16 ounce bag of frozen whole leaf spinach or kale
zest of a lemon 
juice of a lemon (or two if they are small)
1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese
cooked rice for serving (or some crusty bread!)

Directions:
Heat the oil in a heavy 5.5 quart Dutch oven over medium, add the onions, pepper, carrots, celery, and a good pinch of salt.  When the veggies begin to brown, add the tomato paste, Greek seasoning, thyme, and crushed red pepper.  Once the tomato paste cooks and becomes a deeper color, add the garlic, and cook for another minute.  Add the lentils, water, dill, cover and bring to a boil.  Bring it down to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes until the lentils are cooked through.  Add lemon zest, lemon juice, feta cheese, and spinach.  Simmer for 10-15 more minutes.  Season with salt and black pepper.  Ladle into bowls over a little bit of rice and enjoy!  

Photos by Becky Loves Cooking
Recipe by Becky Loves Cooking