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- Dish type
- Vegetable soup
- Spinach soup
This soup is hearty and super-easy to make. Enjoy during the cold winter months.
30 people made this
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 130g dry green lentils
- 425ml water
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 35g chopped fresh spinach
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:50min
- Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Stir in onion and cook until soft about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lentils and water and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Cooking times will vary depending on the freshness of the lentils.
- Ladle a 125ml of the soup liquid into a bowl and whisk in the flour to form a paste. Mix the paste into the soup. Add the spinach, lemon juice and salt. If you prefer a thinner soup, add a bit more water. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Adjust salt and lemon to suit your taste.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(28)
Reviews in English (24)
Hello, I'm the author of this recipe. You need to add about a teaspoon of cumin to the soup towards the end with the lemon juice. The cumin and lemon juice make all the difference in the taste.-28 Jan 2009
merely OK, which is odd because I usually love Syrian food. Seemed like it was definitely missing something, even with the addition of cumin. Was a decent way to use up some old lentils I had laying around but won't be making this one again any time soon.-03 Mar 2009
Thomasina Miers’ recipe for gluten-free Ethiopian lentil and spinach soup
Thomasina Miers’ spicy Ethiopian lentil and spinach soup. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura/The Guardian. Food styling: Aya Nishimura.
Thomasina Miers’ spicy Ethiopian lentil and spinach soup. Photograph: Yuki Sugiura/The Guardian. Food styling: Aya Nishimura.
W e spent a week in Greece last summer. Our hostess, Maria, had grown up in Ethiopia, and one night she treated us to an Ethiopian feast. I loved the spicy, aromatic flavours, whether they were used to marinate meat or to make rich, comforting vegetable and lentil dishes. The generous use of chilli and other warming spices felt nourishing, and I can’t think of a better way to welcome in the New Year.
Carla Christian, RD, LD, received her associate’s degree in culinary arts from The Culinary Institute of America in 2006 and her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Michigan State University in 2009. She finished her dietetic internship from The University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2010 and is a former chef in the Better Homes and Gardens® Test Kitchen. Photo by Jason Donnelly
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Lentil and Spinach Soup Ingredients
- Green lentils – Both brown and green lentils retain their shape well, so consistency of the soup won’t change. You can use red lentils but because they are split, they tend to almost disintegrate in the soup.
- Diced tomatoes – Low sodium are the best. You can also use tomato sauce.
- Veggies – Onion, carrot and celery.
- Spices and low sodium vegetable broth
- Fresh or frozen spinach – We buy 3 boxes at a time and freeze 2. Once you add spinach to hot soup it wilts right away anyways.
Spinach and lentil soup
1. Put the lentils in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over medium—high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and return to the saucepan. Add the stock and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) of water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, gently heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavybased frying pan. Add the onion, fennel, carrot, fennel seeds and cayenne pepper. Lightly crush the bay leaves in your hand and add them to the pan. Sauté over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent but not browned. Stir through the tomato paste. Add the onion mixture to the lentils and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, or until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
3. Gently heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add the garlic and 2 handfuls of the spinach and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. Add the paprika. Add the spinach mixture to the soup and simmer for 2 minutes.
4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Transfer half the soup to a blender or small processor fitted with the metal blade. Whizz for 30 seconds, or until smooth. Return the puréed soup to the saucepan and add the remaining spinach. Season to taste. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
Love this soup! Nonfat yogurt is such a nice addition. Be sure to not overcook the lentils.
This is my new favorite soup recipe. Followed the recipe as written except that I had about a quart of good homemade beef broth on hand and used that in place of part of the water. Took along to a potluck and everyone loved it. If you're serving to a diverse group, you may want to let people add their own chopped cilantro, as some people don't like it. And don't forget a nice crusty loaf of bread!
This was great. The only change I made was to measure the spices generously (very rounded), and I used half low-salt broth and half water. Great soup, and a great way to enjoy both lentils and veggies.
delicious soup. froze leftovers for 2 weeks and had them again. even better the second time around.
This was very easy to make and delicous!! I used lentals that were already cooked from Trader Joes and that cut down on the cook time. I also added some baked chicken tenders cut into bite size pieces, yum o.
This is an excellent dish and can be prepared in a fairly short time for a vegetarian dish. The yogurt is a great compliment so I would advise using it if you can. Also vegetable broth is an excellent substitution for the water. The soup is spicy but not overly so, so adjust for your tastes.
A little bland for my tastes. I will defiantly spice it up a lot more next time. But this recipe seems like a good start.
I love this soup. It was plenty spicy as I upped the curry powder as others suggested and I also increased the crushed red pepper. I did not use the yogurt. I made it Sunday and have eaten it every day since I made it. Very nutritious and filling. No need for any meat!!
One of our favorite soup recipes. The only change I made was to use chicken broth instead of water.
Like others, we added 2-3x the ginger, garlic, cumin, and curry powder and subbed in 4 cups of broth for water. The result was a tasty and healthy meal that weɽ certainly make again.
I think that the reviewers are right about bumping up the spices. more is better because this makes alot of soup. I would increase the curry to 5 tablespoons and 1/2 tespoon of red pepper flakes. Kept cumin at 1 Tablespoon and ginger at 2 Tablespoons Also more vegetables in better as well - double those. I used kale instead of spinach and I also finished my soup at the last minute with 1 cup of cilantro and the juice of 1 lemon. Oh and lose the meat - don't put that in. at least I didn't care for it . messes up the texture flow - at least for me. Great soup though.
Thanks to kimpaw from Newport and her 11/2/09 comments. She knows her stuff. I took many of her suggestions and modified slightly. I first browned 1/2 pound ground turkey then put aside (add turkey back in when add in lentils). I subbed in half of cup of scallions instead of the entire 1.5 cups of onions. I used chicken stock instead of water, and used 10 cups. Additional mods: 6 cloves garlic, 1 T cumin, 3 T curry 2 T chopped fresh ginger 1 cup cilantro 12 ou of spinach. A coincidential addition (due only to multiple cooking of things) was 1/2 cup of fresh tomatoes - stewed and pureed. The lentils took at least 2 hours to cook - but I consistently checked for tenderness. You will need to add liquid once the lentils are cooking. I added 5 cups of water during the simmering time. Last, my mom and I both think the cilantro should be added at the very end, say 1-2 minutes before ready to serve (versus adding in with the spinach). We followed the recipe for the cilantro and could not taste it at all. This was the BEST soup, and I will make it many more times.
This is a great recipe to make in bulk, divide in freezer bags and freeze so you can pull it our for an easy meal. I read the reviews and did make many of the changes suggested in addition to increasing the quantity. First I added 2 pounds of ground turkey. and started the soup by browning it. I then followed the recipe directions but changed quantities as follows: I doubled the onion, used 5 stalks of celery, 5 carrots, 8 cloves garlic, 3T curry (I could have gone higher), 4 T minced garlic, 1 T cumin, 2 bay leaves, 16 cups of chicken broth instead of water, 12 oz spinach and a cup of cilantro. It was great and I am looking forward to pulling out my frozen baggies for a fast meal. Next time I would add some cubed potatoes.
So great! made almost as is, did add some stock in place of some of the water, also my husband preferred it without the yogurt, but i enjoyed it with. Served with some crusty garlic bread, so delicious. Even my picky son enjoyed this one. My best advice, as with all curry dishes, get a good fresh curry (not one from walmart that has been there for 3 years) whole foods or earthfares or whatever have great bulk spices for this, use the kind you like and enjoy.
I've made this soup with and without meat (I prefer it with a mixture of ground beef and turkey.) I also use veggie broth in place of water and as the soup cooks add the layerings of spices and seasonings. Since we prefer this soup spicy I slowly add cayenne pepper (heated in a dash of oil first) for an extra "kick." Lastly we add chopped fresh spinach and a squeeze of lemon while serving. Delicious!
This is one of many recipes that I have found to use the overabundance of celery, carrot and onion from my CSA. It is easy, inexpensive (if you buy your spices from The Spice House), and incredibly flavorful. I used homemade stock because I had a lot of it. That made it even better.
I doubled the cumin, added more but not double curry powder, 3 bay leaves, lots of garlic. After the first steps I put it all in a crock pot, added a can of tomatoe puree. the crock pot worked out so well. De-lish, I did not add peppers and tempered the spice with a squeezed lime minutes before serving. Made a huge batch will freeze 1/2.
Soup was yummy. I did use chicken stock instead of water, and I seasoned it more than the recipe called for. I will make this again.
Mmmmm, yes, with vegetable stock, this recipe is nice and hearty and flavorful. I don't know if iɽ give up my birthright for it, though, but will be making this again:)
Even though I used more spices then called for, this was way too bland for me. If I were to ever make this again (which I probably wouldn't), then I would use at least some broth in place of the water for more flavor.
This was very easy and very tasty - I loved the yogurt. Used veggie stock instead of water, used a generic "hot curry powder," and kept everything else the same. Reading the reviews, I see that people have different views about the heat of madras curry powder - I looked it up and found that it can be mild or hot, depending on how it's made. Old mate wikipedia says it's "fairly hot." I think this soup would work with whatever you have on hand, depending on how hot you like your curry. I'll make this again - hopefully it will freeze well!
Really great - I subbed escarole for spinach and added a few squeezes of lemon to brighten (about 1/2 a lemon). I think this wikk become a staple.
This makes a wonderful lentil and spinach soup and I've been looking for a good recipe for a lentil and spinach soup for years! I've made it twice this winter, once with hot curry and once with sweet curry. It stole the show at our annual soup dinner. The only change I made was to replace the water with chicken stock (vegetable stock would work if you wanted the recipe to remain vegetarian). This is a rich, spicy, flavorful soup that is very filling yet doesn't havea a lot of fat. Iɽ recommend anyone try this soup. It will appear on our table frequently.
I gave this 1 fork for the recipe,I had to change it too much for any more than that. I did not have any celery so I added some leftover thinly sliced portobello mushrooms (1) also added 5 small red potatoes chppd and 1 1/2 regular szd yellow zucchini for more color. I used fresh ginger (1/2 tbsp) and used 6 tbsp garlic, (both from a jar, which is as good as fresh) and a little extra cumim no red pepper. 8 1/2 c water, and 1 c of white cooking wine and 1/4 c lemon juice and 3 1/2 tbsp veggie granules and a lot of salt (according to taste). I would make again with my variations
I made this as prepared and found it a bit bland, so I added Sriracha and ham, with some extra curry powder. It was good, and much better the second and third days after it had thickened a bit.
To Meal Prep:
I like to make soup for meal prep. I make a large batch of soup, enjoy it for dinner and freeze or refrigerate the rest.
To Refrigerate: Keep covered and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days. Reheat in microwave in 30-second intervals until heated through.
To Freeze: Divide into individual freezer-safe containers. Freeze, covered for up to 3 months. To reheat, transfer to the refrigerator or reheat from frozen in 30-second intervals until heated through.
This lentil soup is so good one nurse has eaten it for lunch every workday for 17 years
Can you imagine eating the same lentil soup at your desk for lunch virtually every workday for almost two decades?
I couldn’t, at least not until I talked to Reid Branson, a Seattle nurse manager who has been doing just that. The soup is from Crescent Dragonwagon’s 1992 book “Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread,” and Branson fell so in love with it that it changed his lunch routine for the rest of his professional life.
Branson’s schedule is fairly unpredictable, as you might imagine: He supervises the nursing staff at the HIV clinic of a public hospital, Harborview Medical Center, where he and others have been plenty busy lately keeping on top of developments in the coronavirus outbreak. The one thing he can depend on, day in and day out, is this bright, rich and fragrant Greek lentil and spinach soup. It’s hearty and thick, with lentils as the base, bulked up by potatoes and butternut squash, and a flavor enlivened by a heavy dose of aromatic spices — plus a pop of fresh lemon juice.
“I’m a vegetarian, and getting a reliable source of protein every day at lunch is important to me,” Branson, 63, told me in a phone interview. “Plus, it’s fun to make. It’s got a rhythm to it. And at this point, I can do it without looking at the recipe.”
This all started when his favorite brand of canned soup, his previous workday lunch habit, changed the recipe to something he didn’t enjoy. “We had made other things we liked out of Crescent’s book,” he said, “so I went hunting and found the Greek lentil soup and made a batch, and the rest is history.”
That was 17 years ago. Every other Saturday since, Branson has made enough of the soup to fill four glass jars, enough to last him for eight lunches. (He works nine days over every two-week stretch, and on the ninth he goes back to opening a can.) Sometimes, if he makes a little extra soup — if, say, the butternut squash or potatoes he buys are bigger than usual — he’ll have some left over and his wife gets a taste, too.
- 1 cup dried green lentils, sorted and rinsed
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 2 cups cabbage, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup red or white miso
- 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
In a large pot, combine the lentils and 6 cups water and place over medium-high heat. Add the celery, carrot, cabbage, ginger, and red pepper flakes as the water comes to a boil. Once it is boiling, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender and starting to fall apart, about 1 hour. Uncover and add a little water if the soup is too thick.
In a small bowl, mash the miso with 1⁄4 cup water to make a smooth paste. Stir the miso mixture into the lentils, add the spinach, and stir just until the soup is heated through and the spinach is wilted, 3&ndash5 minutes.
Used red lentils (they easily cook using the time ranges listed in the recipe). No salsa so opted for bruschetta with a tsp of cumin. Sauteed 3 cloves garlic with the onions and the celery and pepper was replaced with organic corn kernels. TASTY: Colorful, presents very well and filling. Will make again with salsa and balsamic!
LOVE IT! I was also suspect of the salsa but it adds a great kick to the soup. This is in our heavy rotation file. I use fresh baby spinach.
I didn't think much of this receipe. I think it would tase much better without the spinach. Spinach does not add much.
Really really yummy! My husband likes things very spicy so I added a bit more salsa. I also left out the spinach. We will definitly have this again
I used fresh spinach and French green lentils. What an awesome flavor. I was not sure about adding the salsa, but it added a nice kick. I also had a smoked pork shank that I trimmed of fat, chopped and added. What a great "empty your frig" kind of soup! Also, I did add 2 cups extra broth, as it got very thick. Italian crusty bread and freshly grated parmesan are a must!
i thought this turned out great, even with the spinach. a little salty if you use store bought stock (i used veggie stock)--it would be great with homemade. i threw in a clove of garlic and a bay leaf with the lentils like someone suggested. i also had a mixture of green and red lentils by accident--but the red go mushy so it made the soup very thick. used 6 cups of stock. crushed tomatoes as opposed to sauce. added some crushed red pepper when i sauteed the onion/celery/pepper combo. very filling and comforting soup-- sprinkled some parmy on top and served with crusty italian bread turned into quick garlic bread (toasted with olive oil/garlic and fresh parsely). quite tasty and packed full of nutritional goodness. quick enough for an evening meal. looking forward to my leftovers for lunch today
I tasted the lentil mixture before I added the spinach and liked it better. The spinach made it bland. Next time I'll just make lentil soup.
My super-picky vegetarian husband declared this the best soup he's had. I added cooked orecchiette at the end and followed another reviewer's suggestion to add some splashed of balsamic and that made it perfect!
Delicious! Served this for a dinner party and got rave reviews. The salsa adds a nice spicy touch. Even though it's a lentil soup, I liked the lentils so much that I thought there should be a bit more added. I also used vegetable stock rather than beef stock, for the vegetarians at our table, and didn't feel the soup was missing anything.
Super easy and very good. I added 2 Tbls of Pickapepper sauce. Hit the spot.
This was a delicious soup, although I changed a few things. I boiled the lentils with a few cloves of garlic and a bay leaf. I also used chicken broth instead of beef. I used fresh spinach and some crushed red pepper for a little bite!
If you like lentils, this is a great soup. Very filling and low in fat. I used vegetable broth instead of beef and it turned out great.
I was unsure about this recipe when I read it, but given the reviews, I thought Iɽ give it a try. Even as I was preparing it, I doubted that my picky (but adorable) wife would enjoy it. But once it was ladled into bowls and served, I was pleasantly surprised. We both thought it was quite good (I made my own tomato sauce, used fresh spinach, and used pork broth instead of beef), and we'll be having it again sometime soon. Tasty, nutritious, low-fat, and filling.
Next time I will make sure I cook the lentils long enough. The 1/2 hour didn't cut it but the soup still tasted GREAT!. I added some spice to "kick it up a knotch". Will make again.
Best lentil soup I've ever tried!
This recipe needs about 6 cups of liquid. I also added some basil thyme and garlic powder to give it a little more zip. The key was adding a few splashes of balsamic vinegar at the end of the cooking process. My 6 year old devoured it!
This was a great recipe as is but I made it with homemade beef stock, fresh spinach, omited the salsa and the pepper and added carrots.Home made stock made it a four fork recipe!
This was a hearty treat on a cold February eve in Portland, OR. Try it with Chipolte salsa for a nice smokey flavour. Great topped with shredded parmesan cheese, or sour cream. Delicious with a microbrew!