Lentil soup is a classic Greek dish. Every Greek household has its own version. My mother makes it in its simplest form, simply boiling lentils with plenty of garlic. Marianna’s mother adds onions, carrots and celery (and it is this recipe that we have for you today). But no matter what vegetables one chooses for this soup, there is one ingredient that all Greek lentil soups include: bay leaves. These fragrant leaves give a unique aroma, with complex herbal and slightly floral notes. They turn our lentils into a truly comforting meal. Our bay leaves are organic and wild, and hand picked from the mountains of Epirus, in North West Greece.
We’re serving this soup with our 18 extra virgin olive oil (surprisingly our apple oil works great here!) and plenty of vinegar. It is great eaten hot, but keeps well, so it also makes for a great lunch the following day.
150ml olive oil
4-5 medium carrots
2 sticks of celery
2 tbsp tomato puree
4 garlic cloves (plus more if you love garlic)
2-3 bay leaves
5lt water or vegetable stock
salt, pepper (to taste)
18C olive oil (to serve)
red wine vinegar (to serve)
Finely chop your onion, carrot and celery stick. Peel the garlic and leave whole.
In a medium-sized pot add the chopped vegetables and garlic, along with the olive oil. Gently cook over medium heat for a few minutes until tender. Add the tomato puree and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaves and water or stock.
Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to medium. Cook for 45 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
Serve hot, with more olive oil and plenty of vinegar.