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September 30, 2012

Recipe for Greek lentil soup with red pepper and feta {gluten-free}

Greek lentil soup with red pepper and feta, a year-round favorite.

To everything, there is a season. Everything except lentils, which are timeless. Depending on what you have on hand, and what you find at the farmers' market, you can pair lentils with acorn squash, or tomatoes, or mint, or fresh green peas. Or you can make this Greek lentil soup with red pepper and feta using ingredients you probably keep in your pantry all year round. Lemon, feta and thyme (or oregano), the classic Greek seasonings, all play off the earthy lentils; you can omit the cheese and substitute homemade mushroom broth for the chicken stock to make this vegan. Lentil soup freezes beautifully, so make a big pot on the weekend, and portion it out for lunches or worknight dinners. Serve with a hunk of crusty bread and a light green salad on the side.

Greek lentil soup with feta.

Greek lentil soup with red pepper and feta

From the pantry, you'll need: lentils, chicken stock, thyme, tomato paste, feta cheese, lemon, olive oil.

Serves 6; can be multiplied.

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1-1/2 cups brown lentils
1 Tbsp Greek seasoning
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 Tbsp dried thyme leaves
1 Tbsp tomato paste
7-8 cups chicken stock, homemade or low-sodium store-bought
Zest of 1 lemon
3-4 Tbsp crumbled feta cheese (I use fat-free feta), to taste
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

Directions

In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the oil over low heat. Add the onions and red pepper, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are translucent and just beginning to brown. Stir in the lentils, Greek seasoning, thyme and tomato paste. Then, add 7 cups of the stock, reserving one cup.

Increase the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil. Then, reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour.

If the lentils are not yet soft and too much liquid has been absorbed to allow them to finish cooking, add the remaining 1 cup of chicken stock. Also, at this time stir in the lemon zest and feta. Taste, and season with kosher salt and lots of fresh black pepper.

Cover the pot, and continue cooking for 15 minutes, or until the lentils are soft but not completely mushy.

Serve hot, with additional crumbled feta on the side. Or, allow the soup to cool completely, then refrigerate in air-tight containers, or freeze.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Slow cooker lentil and brown rice soup with preserved lemons and garlic sausage
Lentil noodle soup
Sweet potato, lentil and raisin stew
Armenian red lentils and bulgur
Red lentil, spinach and feta salad

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Warm green lentil salad with caramelized onions, feta cheese, and pears, from Andrea Meyers
Lentil meatballs with lemon pesto, from Meatballs & Milkshakes
Lentil and barley Greek-style salad with tomatoes, feta, and capers, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Mujaddara (Lebanese lentils and rice with garlic-lemon sauce), from Healthy. Delicious.
Greek red lentil soup with lemon, rosemary and feta cheese, from Eat Me, Delicious

Greek lentil soup with red pepper and feta cheese.

Comments

This is a very nice autumn recipe - I never thought of combining classic Greek flavors with lentils in a soup, but now that I think of it, I have made many Greek salads with lentils and feta that were delicious.

TW, Greek flavors work so well with the earthy flavor and texture of lentils. If you happen to have preserved lemon on hand, add some of that, too.

What a perfect dish for this rainy weekend!! thanks

I love everything about this. If I ever had to pick just a few ingredients for life, lentils would definitely make the cut!

Carol, on any rainy Sunday, you'll find me making a pot of soup.

Kalyn, I haven't thought about that before, but I think lentils would be on my "forever" list, too. Right up there with chocolate!

What is 'Greek seasoning'?

Emily, Greek seasoning is a store-bought seasoning blend (I'm partial to Greektown Billygoat seasoning from The Spice House, available online), but it's easy to make your own. Simply combine salt and pepper, dried oregano, dried thyme and/or rosemary, and dried lemon peel.

Fantastic. . . growing up in a Greek family, I am always excited to see new greek-style dishes! Thanks!

Zach, I love the traditional Greek flavorings, and I especially love them in this simple lentil soup.

Lydia - this is just my kind of soup. I love lentil soup and Greek flavors. Pinning this to try.

Could you use red lentils in this recipe?

Jeanette, same here. Thanks for the pin.

Linda, absolutely yes.

As far as I'm concerned, lentil soup makes the perfect meal for lunch or dinner. I love your Greek twist!

Dinner tonight -- Slammed it out to get out early -- success!

Yes please! I love lentil soup although I have not tried it with Greek flavors. A great idea and a new recipe for my growing list.

This soup is awesome! I made it in the crockpot, and actually ended up purreing it. I paired it with a few torrtia chips.

Kristi, Joana: thanks! I know you'll like this.

Susan, Amanda: so glad you made (and liked!) the recipe. The feta is such a nice touch.

Do you think this would freeze well Lydia?

Hi, found your blog via Twitter. Piping in to say that I love soup and I love lentils and I'd never thought of adding feta to the soup. It sounds great - can't wait to give it a try.

Thanks for this classic Greek dish, I like the addition of the red pepper and the lemon! Here in Greece, Greeks eat this soup during their religious fasting days (over 200 a year) where they abstained from animal products. When they are not fasting, they accompany it with sardines or anchovies.

Jennifer, yes, it freezes beautifully.

Azita, welcome. The lentils really love the salty bite of feta.

Elena, thanks for adding to our knowledge of Greek food customs. I love to learn.

I have featured this recipe in my post September Meal Plan Pinterest Board http://www.morewithlessmom.com/index.php/2013/09/09/september-meal-plan-pinterest-board/

This looks delicious! I'm going to try it in the slow cooker.

This soup is my new favorite. I have passed it on to friends and all have agreed. The flavor combinations are simply beautiful- an odd word to describe flavor but I can think of no better. This can be easily made meatless without compromising its deliciousness!

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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