• Easy and delicious vegetarian meal: Greek style lentil soup

Have I mentioned that I love Greek food?  Well I do, and I also love this soup.  Someone from work was kind enough to share their family recipe.  The quantities are approximates from my interpretation, so feel free to add or subtract.  Just make sure you include lots of garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and it will taste fantastic.  This is an easy one to cook with things most vegetarians would have in their cupboards (yes, we do keep lentils).  Enjoy!

Ingredients
200g brown lentils
4 cloves of garlic
2 brown onions
Vegetables of your choice (I used carrots, beans and sweet potato)
2 tins of diced tomatoes (I used tinned cherry tomatoes but diced would be better)
1 litre vegetable stock
1 cup of rice (I used medium grain)
Olive oil for cooking
Oregano
2 bay leaves
Salt
Pepper

Method
Put the lentils in a saucepan and add enough cold water so that they can float in the pan.


Cook the lentils on a medium heat for 20 minutes, or until they start to soften slightly.

While the lentils are cooking, cut up the onion, garlic and veggies of your choice.  Make sure you cut them in small, evenly sized pieces.


When the lentils are done, tip them into a colander to drain out the water.  Make sure there are none left in the saucepan,   then fry the onions and garlic in olive oil.


When the onions start to go opaque, add the veggies and fry for a couple of minutes (the oil will help them to stay together in the soup).  Add the tinned tomatoes, stock, lentils, bay leaves, and oregano (I used 2 heaped teaspoons of dried oregano but fresh would be better – as I said, I want this to be easy with ingredients you already have at home).   Season heavily with salt and pepper.


Cook on a low heat with the lid on for about 10 minutes.  By this stage, the vegetables should have started to soften.

Add the rice, then replace the lid and continue to cook on a low heat for another 10 minutes.  Turn off the heat but leave the rice on allowing the rice to absorb.

You don't have to be vegetarian to enjoy this one.



Tips

  • For the veggies, use whatever you have!  I liked using carrots, sweet potato and beans because they brought colour to the soup.  You could also include peas, potato, zucchini, broccoli, etc etc.
  • The rice does not need to be washed before-hand.  The starchiness from it actually gives a nice thickness to the soup.


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