Autumn is pretty intense now in Greece and we can feel it to the bone, especially at nights. No sandals, short dresses, shorts or crop tops (not that I wore any) anymore. Cold toes at night, light blanket at bed and closed windows are making me think “Christmas is around the corner!” . No, no, just kidding…or am I?
Anyways, moving to the soup!
We eat lentils all year round, but when the weather calls for warm food (and clean eating, let’s not fool ourselves…it was summer and we ate a lot of souvlaki, ok?) lentils are the easiest soup that comes to mind.
Rich in nutritients and vitamins, lentils may give you a bloated, gas-y night (stay away from people!) but the morning, flat-belly glory pays you back!
Did I convince you?
Just throw in any vegetables you might have in your fridge, they agree well with this soup.
WHAT YOU NEED (for 3-4 servings):
- 150 gr brown lentils (thick or thin)
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 garlic clove sliced
- 2 carrots washed and sliced
- 1 red Florina pepper or bell pepper washed and chopped
- 1 zuchini washed and chopped (optional)
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 full teaspoon tomato paste
- 5 tablespoons vinegar (any kind)
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 2 dashes salt
- 1 dash pepper
- just a sprinkle cumin
- Put the lentils in a pot with water just covering them and boil them at high heat for 2 minutes. Remove and drain them in a strainer emptying the water, which would be brownish.
- Now that they’re cleaner, put them back in the pot and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, onion, peppers, carrots, (any vegetables), bay leaves, salt, pepper and cumin.
- Add water to cover them.
3. Cook for 20-25 minutes at medium heat, checking and stirring occasioanlly, to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate completely. You want the soup to be a bit watery, but not much.
4. Taste it and see if the lentils need a little more boiling- you don’t want them hard, having to bite them. They need to be soft. If not, add a little more water and continue boiling.
5. Check the salt and pepper, too. Bring it to your liking.
6. Turn the heat off and add the oil and vinegar. (They’re not added from the very beginning so that the lentils won’t absorb all of it making it a “heavy” soup.)
7. Serve warm with a nice green salad (clean eating , right?)
Some people like it more sour so they add extra vinegar or hotter, so they add chilly flakes, while others take it to extremes adding grilled sausages at the end!! However you prefer them, lentils are here to stay! Now excuse me…I’m going to the bathroom!!