Rustic Style Greek Lentils
Leading up to Greek Easter is the traditional 40 day lent during which we cook LATHERA FAGITA (oil-based foods). During this time, I can’t imagine anything better than a rustic and homely Greek soup. It is one of the most popular Greek dishes during this time and is cooked in every Greek household.
But what I most love about this soup is that it can be eaten all year round as it is perfect on a cold winter’s day yet just as good served cold straight out of the fridge on a warm summer’s day. Don’t believe me? Try it! Containing lentils, tomatoes, onions, rice and carrots, it’s suitable for those who follow a vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, lactose free and Mediterranean diet.
As a child my brothers and I would giggle at the pronunciation of Fakes (fah-KESS) because it always sounded like our parents were swearing, but what we loved most was the way we ate this soup. A bowl of fakes, a piece of bread, some olives is probably the most unpretentious, simple and warming food a person can have. Best of all it is probably one of the easiest meals to make since it’s a one pot meal and lets not forget how fantastic it is as a packed lunch! My daughter will always take a big thermos to school with her and enjoy a hearty lunch.
KALI OREXI !
A few suggestions when making my Rustic Style Greek Lentils
I always suggest soaking for 12 hours and if you can be bothered during those 12 hours I would also suggest changing the water a couple of times too. I find it helps cook the lentils faster but more importantly, soaking helps neutralise the anti-nutrients that can interfere with digestion. If I don’t soak them, I tend to get bloated. If I do soak them and rinse them a couple of times, I do not seem to get such effects.
Most Greek Fakes recipes do not add rice. So why would I? Well there are 2 reasons. Firstly, it made my kids eats it. Prior to adding rice, they both refused to try but as soon as rice was added to the recipe they ate it and loved it. There is something about rice that makes the soup heartier and feel like a more satisfying meal, especially to children. Secondly, we preferred it and it stayed. You can choose to leave out the rice but once you add it, you will love the texture and added flavour it brings to this humble dish.
Olive Oil and Vinegar:
You may look at this recipe and think why are we adding so much extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar? What I suggest you do, is once its cooked, try a spoon full prior to adding the oil and vinegar and then add some and try it again. For some reason the oil and vinegar tend to enhance the flavour of the lentils and add a layer of freshness to this earthy soup.
As the soup is cooking, you may find that it thickens too much. To thin it out a little (not too much as you want it slightly thick) just add ½ cup of boiling water at a time.
Once cooked and cooled, you can store the soup in an air tight container in the fridge. If you feel you have made too much then freeze it in batches in freezer safe containers.
Today I’ve added a little gourmet twist to these Fakes by drizzling them with Grecian Purveyor Truffle Oil and serving them with Grecian Purveyor Organic Kalamata Olives. A combination that will have your tastebuds singing!
And now it’s time to start cooking! As always, if you make any of my recipes, I would love to hear your feedback. I am available here via email or you can catch me daily on Instagram and Facebook. Don’t forget to save it on your Pinterest board as well! I have a board named CreateCookShare that you can save. Can’t wait to hear from you.
300g / 1.5 cups French green or brown lentils
400g canned diced tomatoes
8 cups boiling water
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
½ cup rice, medium grain
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs Grecian Purveyor Truffle Oil to drizzle
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 bay leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Crusty bread, feta and Grecian Purveyor Organic Kalamata Olives
and finely chopped parsley
If you would like to try these gourmet items please visit https://grecianpurveyor.com/
1. Prepare the lentils by soaking them for 12 hours prior to cooking. Drain and rinse well. Optional step: To create a light-coloured stock and lovely flavour, boil the lentils for 10 minutes. Once they have boiled, drain again into a colander. Set aside.
2. Now add to a wide base pot the 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, carrots, onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes. Then add the rice, tomatoes, lentils, bay leaves and 8 cups of boiling water.
3. Bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Check half way through if more water is needed. Only add boiling water, not cold water.
4. Once cooked add sea salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes. Then turn off heat and add the extra virgin olive oil and vinegar. Stir through and serve.
5. Offer extra virgin olive oil and vinegar at the table for each person to drizzle extra if wanted.