Greek Spinach and Lentil with Lemon Soup
With the shelter-in-place extended thru early May , the only thing keeping us sane these days are trying new recipes. We've been on the hunt for easy wins that don't require a ton of ingredients that we have to try to hunt down, because let's be honest, no one has time (or the ability to) for that.
This recipe hit my IG feed a few days ago via The Washington Post. What caught my eye was that a Seattle native had been eating this for over 15 years daily for their lunch. I was in disbelief. Really? Tacos, I get. But, soup? I had to try it.
After reading a bunch of the comments and reviews, I decided to change things up a bit based on what previous readers and cooks had tried. Also, we did a substitution of the yukon gold potatoes with sweet potatoes because that's what we currently have on hand and I like it better because it's sweeter and also for the added protein. The result was delicious! And The Washington Post was right... the lemon makes this dish sing. Don't skip it.
TIP | If available, a side of warm, buttered crusty bread and a nice chilled white wine would be a perfect addition to this spring soup.
Makes approx 10 meals
1 pound brown or large green lentils, rinsed and picked over
12 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth) -- recommend not using water, as it may be too bland
2 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
3 small sweet potatoes (approx 2 pounds), scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
12+ ounces baby spinach, chopped
1/2 Costco sized butternut squash container OR 1 small butternut squash (1 pound), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 4 cups)
4 tablespoons olive oil and divided
2 large onion, chopped and divided
5 ribs celery, with leaves, chopped (divided, 3 ribs and 2 ribs)
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped and divided
3 teaspoons kosher salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (or more if you prefer)
1) Heat up large pot with half of the olive oil
2) Place your spices (coriander, cumin, bay leaves, and oregano) into a spice or tea ball
3) Chop 3 celery ribs, 1 large onion, and 3 cloves garlic
4) Saute in pot for approx 3 mins, until soft
5) Add the chicken broth, lentils, and spices, bring to a boil
6) Once boiling, add sweet potatoes, lower heat to simmer, and partially cover the pot with lid
7) Meanwhile, dice up a small onion, 2 jalapenos, 2 celery ribs, and 2 cloves garlic
8) Heat up the remaining olive oil in a separate pan and add in onions, cook until mostly soft
9) Then add in the remaining celery, jalapeños, and garlic, cook for another 3-5 mins
10) Add these veggies to the pot and delgaze the pan with the soup broth
11) Add the butternut squash and bring to a boil
12) Salt and pepper to taste
13) Just before completed add in all spinach a stir, take off heat.
14) Add in fresh squeeze lemon juice -- adjust to your taste
TIP | Reviews had mentioned that if you follow the original recipe, the spinach is added too early and gets super slimy. We found saving this one for last was perfect.