My very first memory of tasting a delicious bowl of lentil soup was early Spring at my mother-in-law’s kitchen table. I was newly engaged to My Yanni and eager to learn all about his Greek family traditions. Sunday night suppers were a cherished event filled with all sorts of delicious dishes, stories of the past, and planning of our upcoming nuptials. This particular Sunday happened to be during the season of Lent and lentil soup was the main course.
Before then, I had never tasted lentil soup. The smooth, round, flat little beans intrigued me.
They were so dainty and unassuming.
I can still picture the big steaming pot of lentils happily simmering on the stove.
And I can still remember savoring the warm scent of cumin, garlic and onion that filled the air while I sipped on a glass of wine. Once the soup was perfectly ready and dressed with the last drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar, it was time to gather around the table.
I watched as my mother-in-law delicately scooped the hot soup into large, flat, white bowls,
and sprinkled crumbled feta on top.
Still to this day I can remember how that first heavenly bite of lentil soup tasted. Creamy, savory, slightly spicy and soul satisfying.
I relish in the ritual of making Yaya’s lentil soup this time of year as my mind travels back to my very first bowl. I find myself craving not only the lentil soup, but the delicious memories that come with it.
Lovely lentil soup. Lent and lentil soup just seem to go hand and hand. Why don’t you give it a try?
Happy first day of Spring!
- 1- 16 ounce bag dried green lentils
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 medium potato, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 10 ounce can tomato sauce
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 bay leaves
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for sauting
- 1- 14.5 ounce can vegetable broth
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- 5 cups water
- crumbled feta, optional
- Wash lentils.
- Warm 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a soup pot over low heat. Add carrots, celery, potato, and onion.
- Meanwhile pour water into another large pot and boil lentils. Once they reach a boil, discard the water, and boil lentils once again, with 5 cups of fresh water over medium heat.
- Turn the heat of the vegetables up to a low/medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until they stick to bottom of the pot.
- Pour vegetables into pot with lentils and water.
- Deglaze the bottom of the vegetable pot with some of the lentil water. Add the deglazed liquid to pot with lentils and vegetables.
- Add tomato sauce, bay leaves, garlic, vegetable broth, canola oil, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt. Stir and bring to a boil.
- Turn heat down and let simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add red wine vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil and stir.
- Top with crumbled feta, if desired.