This brown lentil soup, or ‘fakes soupa’ as we call it in Greek, is a classic dish that you will find at a Greek family table as often as twice a month or even more in the wintery months. It’s a hearty, comfort dish that we enjoy with a slice of bread to soak all the juices and a tomato salad or some smoked fish on the side.
The classic recipe of lentil soup has only a few ingredients, with the brown lentils being the star of the dish. You will find many variations of the dish, with more vegetables inside like carrots or celery that really add to the flavour and add more body to the soup, but here I’m sharing with you the humble version of the Greek fakes soup.
Why you should try my recipe
- Very easy to make! It will take you just 10 minutes to prepare the ingredients.
- It takes only 30 minutes to cook.
- Stores in the fridge for 3-4 days and in the freezer for up to 2 months!
- Packed with nutrients, vitamins, iron from the lentils.
- Great way for little ones to eat more legumes.
Ingredients and How-to
The ingredients you will need to make this Mediterranean lentil soup are: brown lentils, tomatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, bay leaf, salt & pepper and optionally some vinegar. So simple!
01. I always start with the preparation of the brown lentils. As with all the dry legumes, I like to soak them in water first. That helps to activate them, and makes them easier to digest and reduce that gassy effect that all legumes give when you eat them. If you haven’t tried soaking your lentils, give it a go this time, and I would love it if you leave me a comment and let me know if you noticed the difference.
So, let’s get started! I rinse the lentils well and then add them to a bowl with enough fresh water to cover them. I only leave them for 10 minutes, enough time to prepare the rest of my ingredients.
02. For the next step, I’m preparing the onion and garlic. I peel the onion, cut it in half and then in cubes. You don’t have to be precise here, as we are making soup! Same with the garlic cloves, I peel them and then roughly cut them.
03. I add a little bit of olive oil to a large pot and heat it over medium heat. Then, I add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until it gets soft.
04. After that, I add the garlic and the chopped tomatoes to the pot and just stir and leave for a minute to get back to the lentils. I drain the brown lentils and then add them to the pot along with 6 cups or 1.5 litres of freshwater.
05. For the seasoning, I add one bay leaf, salt and pepper. The bay leaf is a must as it has a characteristic aroma and adds to the flavour of the Mediterranean lentil soup. It’s also full of vitamins that add more goodness to the dish and contain enzymes that help to digest food faster.
I cover the pot with the lid and let them cook for about half an hour until the lentils are soft but not mushy. When the food is ready, I turn off the heat and add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. This is optional but it really compliments the flavours and gives the lentil soup a nice kick.
I usually slurp down this mediterranean lentil soup with a slice of crispy bread and drizzle the soup with some more olive oil. You could also serve it with some tomato, feta and olives salad on the side or some smoked fish like herring.
If you are sharing the lentils soup with babies under 12 months then I don’t recommend adding any salt to the soup when preparing it. You could add some bread to the soup and give the spoon to your little one if you are doing Baby-Led Weaning or just spoon feed him.
If you have any leftovers, you could store the lentil soup in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. When you are ready to eat, just warm them up in the microwave or the stove for 2-3 minutes until hot. The mediterranean lentil soup is also freezable for up to 2 months. To defrost, take them out of the freezer and leave them in the fridge overnight until they are completely thawed. Then, simply warm up and eat as you like.
What type of lentils do I use for the greek lentil soup? The traditional Greek Lentil soup has brown lentils. Brown lentils have an earthy flavour and cook quickly within 25-30 minutes.
How much water do I need to add to the lentils soup? For a 4 servings soup, I’m using 2 cups of brown lentils and 1.5 litres of water or 6 cups.
What type of tomatoes can I use for the lentils soup? For the lentil soup, you could use one cup of canned chopped tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes medium-sized that you either grate or blend well using a food processor.
How can I serve the mediterranean lentil soup to babies? The mediterranean lentil soup is great for babies and little ones as it’s packed with nutrients and vitamins. Serve it with sticks or slices of bread to dip in the soup. For babies under 12 months, remember NOT to add any salt to the soup as you should keep daily salt intake as low as possible.
Other Recipes to Try
If you liked my Mediterranean Lentil Soup Recipe, check out these recipes too
Watch the Video
Mediterranean Lentil Soup - Greek FakesYou will only need 40 minutes to prepare this Greek lentil soup or fakes as we call it in Greek. It's such a simple, comfort traditional dish that we love having, especially in those cold wintery months. Serve it with a slice of bread to soak all the juices and some salad on the side or if you are fan of smoked fish, why not try it with some smoked herring. Enjoy!
- 2 cups (380gr) brown lentils
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup (220gr) chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil + extra to drizzle
- 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar (optional)
- 6 cups (1.5 litres) of water
- salt & pepper
- Start with preparing the brown lentils. Rinse them and add them to a bowl. Cover with fresh water and leave them to rest while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Peel the onion and chop it into cubes. Roughly chop the garlic cloves.
- Add the olive oil to a big pot and heat over medium heat.
- Add the chopped onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes until it's soft.
- Add the chopped garlic cloves and the chopped tomatoes. Give it a stir.
- Drain the lentils and add them to the pot. Add 6 cups, around 1.5 litres of fresh water.
- Add the bay leaf, salt and pepper. Cover with the lid.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, until the lentils are soft but not mushy.
- When the lentil soup is ready, turn off the heat and add the vinegar.
- Drizzle with some olive oil and serve whilst warm with some crispy bread.
- You could use fresh tomatoes or canned chopped ones.
- The red wine vinegar at the end is highly recommended as it will give an extra kick to the soup.
If you have any leftovers, you could store the lentil soup in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. When you are ready to eat, just warm it up in the microwave or a pot for 2-3 minutes until hot. It's also freezable for up to 2 months.
Nutrition Info (per serving)
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.