In the food haven island of Greece, Lentil Soup is called Fakes (pronounced fah-kes). Lentil is a legume that is full of fiber, rich in protein, iron and other vitamins. It is great food for those in diet because it is filling and healthy with zero fat and low calories. It is also easy to cook, unlike its relative, the beans, which need to be soaked overnight. As for lentils, you just wash them and use them right away.
Fakes soupa is a comfort food, and there is nothing like a warm bowl of it during cold nights. Since this contains to meat, this is a great Lent Season food.
There are different colors of lentils – green, brown, red, black or yellow. It can also have the husk or without it. If you use yellow or red without the husk, they may disintegrate while cooking, and your soup would be thick. The green lentils are ‘al dente’ or firm, brown are softer, and red is the softest.
The Lentil Soup may also be served without the tomato paste, making it a ‘white soup’. Some add more vegetables into it like carrots and potatoes. Others add pasta into it.
Here are the ingredients you need: (4 servings)
(1 hour approximate time of preparation)
- ½ lb dry lentils
- 2 cloves garlic, whole (this will be removed later)
- 1 piece onion, chopped
- 2 pieces bay leaves
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preparation of the lentils:
- Rinse the lentils thoroughly to make sure it does not foam during the cooking process;
- You can choose to soak the lentils 2 hours before cooking;
- OR, you can boil the lentils in a pan with one glass of water. Cook for 3 minutes over high heat then drain the lentils after water boils.
- In a pot, put warm water and add the lentils. Water should be enough to cover the contents;
- Add into the pot the onion, bay leaves, garlic and tomato paste;
- Cover the pot, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes;
- Add the seasonings to taste;
- Keep boiling for 30 minutes. Check if lentil is thoroughly cooked. Different kinds or colors cook at different rates.
- Some like to top this hearty soup with crumbled feta cheese, another Greek must-food;
- You can give your guests the option of having extra virgin oil drizzled on the top, or some splashes of red wine vinegar;
- You can serve this with anchovies, olives, or salted or smoked fish;
- If you want a more authentic Greek experience, you can have ‘taramosalata’, which is fish roe salad on toasted bread;
This is a great, filling soup for the family. If you want to be more playful, add cumin or curry into your flavors. Leftover’s may be vacuum sealed or placed in containers for future consumption. It would be an easy-to-bring lunch for you in the office, just reheat.