Easy Lentil Soup (Faki Soupa)

by Diane, M.P.H, M.S.

This heart-healthy soup is nutritious, rich in antioxidants and fiber, filling, and delicious, hot or cold. To obtain complete protein, serve with crusty whole-grain bread, flatbread, or cooked whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, barley, bulgar, millet, wheat berries, or pasta. I usually serve lentil soup hot over brown basmati rice, and add fresh fruit or a salad for a complete meal.

Ingredients for 12-16 servings:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 large onions, chopped
  • 4-6 carrots, peeled and chopped, or 1 (16-ounce) bag of baby carrots left whole or cut in half
  • 4-6 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper (I use about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices or 4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 1 pound dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 quarts low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup (or more) fresh spinach, swiss chard, kale, or collard greens, rinsed and thinly sliced, or pre-washed baby spinach leaves

Optional ingredients:

  • 4-6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4-6 tablespoons red wine vinegar stirred in at end of cooking
  • 1/4 cup brown rice, barley, farro, quinoa, or other whole grain
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh, or 1 teaspoon dried, basil, mint, oregano, or parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) curry powder


Heat oil in a large soup pot (I always use my 12-quart pot to be safe, since I’m always adding more vegetables!) over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and stir to coat evenly with oil. Add the garlic and pepper and saute until all the vegetables are tender (but not browned) and the onions become translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer until the juices evaporate a little and the tomatoes break down, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 minutes. Add the lentils and mix to coat. Add the broth and herbs and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer over low heat, until the lentils are almost tender, about 30-45 minutes.

When using any of the optional ingredients, except for the spinach and other leafy green vegetables, add them to the pot along with the other ingredients. Spinach and other leafy green vegetables should be added to the finished soup. Stir in the greens and cook until they are just tender but still bright green. Spinach takes about a minute; kale and collard greens take longer.

This soup can easily be frozen.


Per serving: Approximately 200 calories (10 from fat), 1 gram total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 44 g sodium, 34 g total carbohydrate (8 g dietary fiber, 4 g sugar), 12 g protein

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: