The Greek Style Lentil Soup

This is one of my favorite soups that my mom made when we were growing up, and still makes it today. Everyone who makes Lentil Soup, has their own recipe, and this is mine, from what I have learned over the years from my mother. If you have been following my recipes, or if you just started, I sometimes like to make large batches of certain foods and freeze them. I figure, if I already have out pots, cutting boards, knives, the stove is on, etc., etc., I might as well cook a little extra to give out to my family and friends, or store it in the freezer for enjoying later. That being said, this recipe will make 4 quarts, that’s 1 gallon of soup (perhaps you can enjoy one quart of it between today and tomorrow, and freeze the rest in quart size containers). Depending on how hungry the person is, a serving can be 1 OR 2 cups per person. Total, you should yield 16 cups. This recipe has NO OIL in it, which is perfect for fasting, during Lent, watching your fat intake, if you are a vegetarian, or just enjoy eating this type of soup. Since we are not using oil to saute’ our vegetables, we are going to make a stock first to season our water, and then add our lentils. I hope you enjoy it, as much as I have over the years. Here we go…..
  • 16 cups water (1 gallon)
  • (2) 1 lb bags of lentils (so, a total of 2 pounds), sorted and rinsed with water
  • fresh cracked pepper (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • 3 bay leafs
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced or chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced into bite size pieces (this will give a sweetness to the soup)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, rubbed between the palms of your hands to make it smaller pieces
  • 8 tablespoons red wine vinegar-add this at the end of cooking (this is what makes the soup, so, if possible, try to get a good quality vinegar, and nothing too acidic)
  • (2) 6 ounce cans tomato paste (about 3/4 cup)-add this at the end of cooking so it won’t make your beans hard during cooking)
  • 3 teaspoons salt- add this at the end of cooking, so it won’t make your beans hard during cooking
Bring all ingredients to a boil on medium heat, except for your vinegar, tomato paste, and salt, for about 15 minutes, then cover and cook for another 45 minutes, stirring a couple of times during coooking. Uncover soup, add your vinegar, tomato paste, and salt, and cook for an additional 15 minutes. (A little hint: when the soup sits to cool, it tastes better with time because all of the ingredients have to time to “marry”, so if possible, let this soup cool first). Enjoy !!!
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