Saturday, November 5, 2011

Greek Lentil Soup

One of the most popular Greek staples is lentil soup, known as fakes (Greek φακές), which is often served during Lent period, typically made with small green-brown lentils and vegetables.
It is a simple dish, delicious and nutritious, that can be prepared with or without tomatoes.

The Ingredients
 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
 2 ½ cups lentils (Greek Lentils preffered)
 2 medium onions, finely chopped
 1 can whole tomatoes, smashed
 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
 5-6 garlic cloves, halved
 3 small bay leaves
 1 pinch dried oregano leaves
 1 carrot, peeled and sliced ​​(optional)
  5-6 cups hot water
  Red wine vinegar
  Natural Sea Salt 
 Freshly ground pepper

1.     Clean to remove stones, sticks or other seeds from the lentils, rinse well and let them soak in warm water for more than two hours. Drain.
2.   Place lentils in a large saucepan, add water to cover, put over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; cook for 10 minutes, then drain lentils into a strainer.
3.     Place lentils again in the saucepan over medium heat(use no water); add half of olive oil, onion, garlic, bay leaves, oregano and carrot; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes.

4.    Add tomatoes, tomato paste, pepper, hot water and stir well. Cover and simmer, until lentils have softened, about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5.     When ready, add the remaining oil, salt, pepper and vinegar to taste. Add some hot water, if the soup becomes too thick.

6.     Serve the soup warm. Accompany it with feta cheese sprinkled with oregano and olive oil; Greek Kalamata olives, green fresh salad, pickles or whatever you like.


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