Greek Lentil and Spinach Soup with Lemon 8.000

(Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post)

Weeknight Vegetarian Mar 8, 2020

This brightly flavorful, easy soup from an almost three-decade-old cookbook is so good that one fan — Reid Branson of Seattle — has made a batch every week and eaten it for lunch almost every workday for more than 15 years. In addition to all its other virtues, it’s vegan, gluten-free and low-fat. Don’t skip the clean zing of lemon, which makes it sing.

Storage Notes: The soup can be refrigerated for up to 10 days or frozen for up to 3 months.


Servings:
8

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings; makes 12 cups

Ingredients
  • 1 pound brown or large green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 10 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium Yukon Gold, russet or red potatoes (1 1/4 pounds), scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 10 ounces baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash (1 pound), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, with leaves, sliced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Directions

In a large soup pot over medium-high heat, combine the lentils, stock or water, jalapeño, coriander, cumin, oregano and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, about 30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

Add the potatoes, spinach and butternut squash, re-cover and cook another 15 to 20 minutes, until the potatoes and squash are tender.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, and cook, stirring, until it starts to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and cook, stirring often, until they soften, 3 minutes. Add the mixture to the soup, deglazing the skillet with a little bit of the broth from the soup, then add the deglazed contents back to the soup pot. Add the salt and pepper, taste, and add more if needed. Pick out and discard the bay leaves.

Thinly slice one of the lemons and cut the other into wedges. Just before serving, stir the lemon juice into the soup. Serve the soup hot, with a lemon slice floating atop each bowl. Pass lemon wedges at the table.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from “Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread” by Crescent Dragonwagon (Workman Publishing, 1992).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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