LENTIL SOUPS THROUGHOUT THE MEDITERRANEAN The lentil plant originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of the ancient foods. The humble lentil is a cousin to the pea and rich in protein and carbohydrates. It’s also an excellent source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, and vitamin B. The types of lentils most widely used are brown, red, green, puy, and yellow. In the Mediterranean, you can find lentil soups cooked in many different ways leading to fascinating flavor profiles. The Greek and Italian are mostly herbal, containing herbs like bay leaves, oregano, and thyme, Turkish and North African, are mostly spicy, using cumin, Aleppo pepper, cinnamon, paprika, cardamom and ginger.
15 min
40 min


  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • Seasalt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1-15 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 5 Tbsp. fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped
  • 6 pitas toasted and quartered, for serving


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute the coriander, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and cinnamon, for 1 minute, stirring the whole time. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, celery and continue cooking until tender (about 5 minutes). Add the lentils and tomatoes, and stir well. After 4 minutes, add the stock and heat to a boil. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove the soup from the heat and ladle half of the soup into a large mixing bowl. Carefully blend the remaining soup in the pot with an immersion blender. Pour back into the pot. Stir in the lemon juice, red pepper flakes, parsley and cilantro, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Serve hot with warm pita bread and parsley.

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