It is officially fall! While the palm trees might still be swaying in the sunshine, soup season is in full effect. Basic Lentil Soup with Feta is one of my favorites perfect any night of the week.
Soup is always one of those foods that feels like a cozy hug, such as Easy Black Bean Soup. This Meatless Monday souper star is hearty, yet effortless, giving you an all-day cooked flavor with minimal effort.
Not only is Basic Lentil Soup with Feta a dish anyone can make, but it also requires minimal ingredients. Using a pantry staple like lentils also makes this a protein packed dish that is budget friendly.
- Brown Lentils - Brown lentils have a mild, earthy flavor. Unlike other lentils such as green lentils, they also have a quicker cooking time making them perfect for weeknight meals, in addition to having a higher fiber content.
- Olive Oil - Olive oil is not only used to help sauté the aromatics, but also drizzled on at the end for a little additional richness.
- Onion - Savory, but sweet as it cooks down, onions add the first layer of flavor to this soup.
- Garlic - Savory and pungent, this adds depth to the lentil soup.
- Tomato Paste - Adds sweetness and depth to the soup and compliments the earthy lentils.
- Salt - Not only enhances all of the flavors but also helps break down the onions and garlic.
- Black Pepper - Adds a little earthy spice.
- Bay Leaves - Aromatic, herbaceous, and a little floral, they give that all day cooked flavor.
- Water/Broth - You can use either water or your favorite broth to cook the lentils in this soup.
- Red Wine Vinegar - Adds brightness, tang, and depth.
- Feta Cheese - The best part of soup is all about the toppings. Salty, tangy, savory feta adds creamy texture and balances the earthy flavor of the lentils.
- Oregano - Floral and herbaceous, oregano wakes up all of the flavors.
- Chili Flakes - Adds just a little note of heat. Add a little or add a lot!
How to Make Basic Lentil Soup with Feta
Making a comforting bowl of soup is has never been easier than with this hearty and comforting lentil soup. Just get out your Dutch oven, and let's break it down.
Time needed: 1 hour.
Rinse your lentils. Pick out any that look bad.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add your olive oil. Add your onions and garlic and sauté until fragrant and translucent. Add your tomato paste and sauté until it deepens in color, about one minute.
Add your rinsed lentils, salt, pepper, bay leaves, vinegar, and water or broth. Stir to combine.
Cover your soup and allow it to simmer until the lentils are tender. They will absorb a lot of liquid so keep an eye on them and add more as needed.
When ready to serve, top your soup off with a drizzle of olive oil, oregano, chili flakes, and cubes of feta. Don't forget the crusty bread for dipping!
This recipe is for an easy lentil soup that you can expand on and add some of your favorite ingredients. Here are just a few options and ideas.
- Carrots - For a layer of sweetness, add carrots when sautéing the onions and garlic.
- Sausage - Italian sausage and lentils are a classic combination and will make this soup even more hearty.
- Pancetta - A little lighter than sausage in flavor while still bringing a meaty bite, pancetta is another option.
- Kale - Adds texture and flavor and perfect for Meatless Monday.
- Parmesan - Swap out the feta for nutty parmesan.
Basic Lentil Soup is an ideal make ahead dish. Not only is it great for meal prep but it also tastes even better the next day. Make sure to store your soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Because lentils absorb liquid you may need to add a splash more broth or water to thin it out when reheating.
Top Tip for Basic Lentil Soup with Feta
Lentils are a delicious and nutritious budget friendly source of protein, fiber, and antioxidants. When they cook, they absorb the liquid so always keep an eye on the amount of broth in your pot as you may need to add extra. If you like a brothier soup, add additional.
Basic Lentil Soup with Feta
- 1 Dutch oven or large pot
- 1 lbs brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for serving
- 1 onion diced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2-3 bay leaves
- water or broth
- crusty bread, feta, oregano, and chili flakes for serving
- Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat with olive oil.
- Add the onions and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and the onions are translucent.
- Add the tomato paste and sauté for a minute until it deepens in color.
- Add the lentils, bay leaves, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
- Add the water or broth and vinegar.
- Cover and allow to simmer until the lentils are tender.
- Check occasionally as the lentils absorb liquid and may need additional water.
- Remove the bay leaves.
- To serve, drizzle with olive oil. Top with oregano, chili flakes, and feta. Don't forget the crusty bread!