As a nutritionist (I minor in nutrition and master in googling information), I recommend FAKES SOUPA or simply FAKES (pronounced fah-kess). This Greek staple is definitely a favorite in my diet because I know just how incredibly healthy lentils are. If I woke up tomorrow and suddenly stopped liking fakes (not possible), I would still eat the soup for the health benefits alone.
Lentils may seem small but they are a massive nutritional powerhouse. They’re packed with protein and fiber and are low in fat. They’re rich with vitamins and minerals. They can reduce LDL cholesterol and can cut the risk of heart disease. They provide a great energy boost. It’s a nice bonus that lentils taste really, really good. Add vegetables like onions, celery and carrots, and you have a healthy bang for your buck.
You can fuel up on fakes any time of year. A big bowl of fakes will comfort you when it’s cold and will keep you full during days that are meant for fasting from meat. Fakes require little effort to make—just slowly simmer your favorite vegetables with the lentils, and season to taste. For a finishing touch, add a splash of red wine vinegar to your bowl plus a dollop of yogurt or crumbled feta on top. A loaf of warm bread is also necessary to have with your fakes soupa to ensure not even a drop of those healthy juices are wasted.
- 12 oz lentils
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 2 cups tomatoes, diced (canned is fine)
- ½ bunch Italian parsley
- 1 bunch shredded spinach (optional)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3-4 cups of vegetable broth
- salt and pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar, for serving
- Rinse the lentils and drain in a colander.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots, and celery and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Pour in the lentils. Add bay leaves and oregano. Add enough vegetable broth to cover the lentils.
- Reduce the heat to low/medium and slow simmer for about 20 minutes. Add more water or vegetable broth or even olive oil as needed.
- Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, and the optional spinach. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to slow simmer for 25-30 more minutes, until lentils have softened.
- Stir in the parsley, and add the red wine vinegar at the end to taste.
- Serve warm with the bread and keep oil and vinegar at the ready for individual servings.