Greek Lentil Soup

This simple but delicious Greek Lentil Soup recipe (Fakes) is incredibly easy to make, nutritious and vegan too. This traditional soup uses pantry staples to make a healthy, hearty meal the whole family can enjoy.

I’m probably in the minority here, but as a kid I adored this Greek Lentil Soup or Fakes and still do. It is hearty, nutritious, and best of all, delicious! I definitely didn’t impress my younger sister when I would request this as a meal, choosing it over McDonald’s (I realize how weird this is).

This recipe is not only a popular, classic Greek dish, it also sums up Greek cooking in a nutshell. It is made with humble, simple ingredients that work beautifully together to create a delicious meal. Economical, nutrient-dense, and unpretentious.

I make my recipe the same way my mom makes it. This is her exact recipe, in fact. The list of ingredients is short and includes things you likely already have on hand. You can definitely make some changes and I have included some variations and optional toppings in the blog post below, so be sure to check those out.

I’ve included instructions on how to make this soup in a pressure cooker, which is how I make it (and how my mom made it too) but there are stove top directions as well.

A bowl of Greek Lentil Soup being picked off a marble counter containing black olives and bread slices.

What type of lentils should I use in Greek lentil soup?

Both brown or green lentils can be used in Greek lentil soup. Brown lentils are what I often use, but either one is a delicious and nutritious choice. If you are using green lentils, they require a little longer to cook than brown lentils so keep that in mind.

Ingredients in Greek Lentil Soup:

  • Lentils: You can use either brown or green lentils for Greek lentil soup. Rinse the lentils well by placing them in a fine mesh sieve and running them under water.

  • Onion: 1 medium onion is used in this recipe. Any type of onion is okay.

  • Garlic: You can adjust how much garlic you use to suit your own tastes. My recipe includes 3 cloves of garlic, which is how I used to make it before I developed a garlic sensitivity. Now I make it without garlic at all.

  • Bay leaf: Infuse flavour into the soup. Be sure to remove before serving.

  • Salt & Pepper: I use about 2 teaspoons of salt and a pinch of pepper in my soup but this, of course, should be adjusted to suit your taste. Use a little less at first and then add only if needed.

  • Olive oil: a good quality olive oil is essential to Greek cooking

  • Tomato sauce: Homemade or store bought.

  • Water: I add about 5 cups to my pressure cooker. If the soup is too thick, add more boiled water to the pot to thin it out.

Optional toppings:

  • Fresh herbs: parsley and thyme are good choices
  • Olive oil: for drizzling
  • Red wine vinegar: for drizzling. The acidity enhances the flavour of the soup
  • Feta: This is not vegan or Lent-friendly
  • Olives: Kalamata olives are best, but you can opt for your favourite variety
  • Red chili flakes: if you like a little heat, add a pinch of red chili flakes
A bowl of fakies (Greek Lentil Soup) set on a marble countertop with a plate of sliced bread and a bowl of kalamata olives.

How to make Greek Lentil Soup:

While I have included instructions for both stove top and pressure cooker in the recipe card below, the steps are essentially the same even though the cooking method is a bit different. Essentially, making fakes comes down to these simple steps:

  1. Rinse the lentils: No matter what cooking method you choose, rinse your lentils under the tap using a fine mesh sieve.

  2. Place ingredients in your pot: Place the lentils, onion, garlic, bay leaf, olive oil, salt and pepper in your stove top pot or pressure cooker.

  3. Top with sauce and water: Top the soup ingredients with the tomato sauce and water.

  4. Let the soup simmer until lentils are cooked: This takes about 10 minutes of cooking time in a pressure cooker and at least 40 minutes using the stove top method.

That’s it! Just top with your favourite toppings or serve as is!

Steps to Make Greek Lentil Soup

How to serve fakes

As mentioned above, you can serve Greek lentil soup with a number of optional toppings. These include a drizzle of olive oil or red wine vinegar, fresh herbs, olives, crumbled feta, or crushed red pepper.

This soup goes well with warm, crusty bread or pitas. My Yogurt Flatbread is a quick and delicious pita-alternative that I often whip up when I don’t have pita or bread on hand. So yummy!

Other optional sides that I like to serve with fakes include Spanakopitakia (Spinach and Feta Filo Triangles) or Tiropita.

A bowl of lentil soup topped with thyme on a table next to olives and sliced bread.

How to store leftovers

Leftover fakes can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container. They will last about 3 days when stored like this. Greek lentil soup can also be frozen in a freezer safe container. It will last in the freezer for a couple of months. With both storage options, allow the lentil soup to come to room temperature before transferring to a container.

If the soup thickens in the fridge or freezer and loses some of the water, you can thin it out by adding more water when reheating it.

I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do!

-Cathy

Closeup of a bowl of Greek lentil soup topped with fresh thyme.

You may also like:

Greek Chickpea Soup (Revithosoupa) (also vegan)
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup (Avgolemono Soup)

A bowl of Greek Lentil Soup being picked off a marble counter containing black olives and bread slices.

Greek Lentil Soup

Herbs and Flour
This simple but delicious Greek Lentil Soup recipe (Fakes) is incredibly easy to make, nutritious and vegan too. This traditional soup uses pantry staples to make a healthy, hearty meal the whole family can enjoy.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Greek
Servings 8
Calories 311 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups lentils (brown or green)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 5 cups water

Optional toppings:

  • fresh herbs parsley and thyme are good choices, chopped
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • red wine vinegar for drizzling
  • feta (Not vegan or Lent-friendly), crumbled
  • Olives

Instructions
 

  • Place the lentils in a sieve and rinse them well. Drain them.

To cook in a pressure cooker:

  • To the pressure cooker, place the lentils, onion, garlic, bay leaf, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Top the soup ingredients with the tomato sauce and water and place the lid on the pressure cooker. Heat the pressure cooker until it begins to whistle and then turn down the heat to the low setting (I set mine to the 2 setting on my stove top).
  • Allow the soup to cook for 10 minutes and then remove from the heat. Let the pressure cooker cool until the safety valve has gone down and it is safe to open your pressure cooker [Always adhere to safety measures when using a pressure cooker. Be sure to follow the safety instructions in your particular pressure cooker model.]
  • Remove the bay leaf and ladle the soup into bowls. Serve as is or with your choice of optional toppings.

To cook on the stove top:

  • In a large soup pot, place the lentils, onion, garlic, bay leaf, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Top the soup ingredients with the tomato sauce and water and bring the pot to a boil. Lower the temperature to low and place a lid on the soup pot.
  • Allow the soup to cook over low heat for 40 minutes, checking on the soup from time to time to adding more liquid if it is needed.
  • Remove the bay leaf and ladle the soup into bowls. Serve as is or with your choice of optional toppings.

Nutrition

Calories: 311kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 13gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 10gSodium: 302mgPotassium: 665mgFiber: 16gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 285IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 4mg
Keyword 10 minute recipe, lent, lentils, nistisimo, vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    only other thing i do is add a couple stalks of celery and a couple carrots

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