Preparation time 15 minutes | Cooking time 30–60 minutes | Serves 4
- 2¼ cups (500 g/1 lb 2 oz) green lentils
- 1 lb 2 oz (500 g) canned chopped tomatoes or fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 small onion, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 2 bay leaves ◦ salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus extra to garnish
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, plus extra to garnish
- olives and pickled vegetables, to serve
- Rinse the lentils, then put them into a pan, pour in water to cover, and bring to a boil.
- Cook for 5 minutes, then drain, discarding the cooking liquid. This prevents the lentils from darkening during cooking.
- Process the tomatoes to a purée in a food processor.
- Put the onion and garlic in a large pan, add 6 tablespoons water, and cook until the water has evaporated and the onion and garlic have softened.
- Pour in 4 cups (1 litre/1¾ pints) water, add the tomatoes, sugar and bay leaves, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
- Add the lentils, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30–60 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
- Stir in the vinegar and oregano and cook for 5 minutes more.
- Remove the pan from the heat and remove and discard the bay leaves.
- Sprinkle the soup with freshly ground pepper and extra oregano and vinegar, if you like.
- Serve the soup hot or at room temperature, accompanied by olives and pickled vegetables.
Source: 'Greece: The Cookbook' by Vefa Alexiadou, available in-store at the Triggerfish Cookshop.
About the book: Greece: The Cookbook is the first truly comprehensive bible of Greek food in English written by Vefa Alexiadou, the leading authority on Greek cookery.