Beans, Dairy free, Gluten free, Ingredients, Mediterranean Diet Recipes, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian

Greek Lentil Soup-Fakes

Greek Lentil Soup
Lentil soup known as fakes (pronounced FAH-kess) is one of the most popular dishes among Greek children. I kid you not. Kids go crazy for these plain brown legumes. I also enjoyed them as a child, but kind of forgot about them later on. As a parent I put it off and just assumed that they could try it later when they were older, especially the younger one who is at that picky stage.

One day my older son, came home from school, he eats lunch there occasionally, and told me how he ate two bowls of the stuff and how he likes it so much. A few months later my younger one was at his cousins and raved about the lunch he had: fakes, he exclaimed! And he too had ate two bowls.

So as you can understand we started including fakes on our menu. Nowadays we eat them 1-2 times a week.

Lentil Soup the Greek Way

This lentil soup is really tasty and the vinegar added after cooking is what really makes them great. Traditionally they are served with something salty such as cured sardines, feta or salty olives. It is not necessarily a winter dish, don’t let the word “soup” fool you, and we eat it all year, warmish not really hot. It is truly a comfort food, there is just something about that I cannot pinpoint, but it satisfies.

This is a simple dish to make and while you may see recipes that include olive oil while simmering, I add it after. This is what my grandmother used to do; she would add a tablespoon of olive oil to each bowl while serving. You also need to add red wine vinegar as well, as this is what makes them so special in my opinion.

One of the Most Nutritious Soups

Nutritionally, this is a great dish obviously. Protein, antioxidants as well as fiber are key components of lentils, this not only makes them healthy but very filling.

Iron has been mentioned, although it should be noted that only a small percentage of iron is absorbed from plant sources, combining with vitamin C aids with absorption, and since there is tomato paste in it that helps.

Greeks also consume this sou traditionally with small cured fish such sardines and cured anchovies .

This dish tastes great the next day, just gently warm before serving.

Greek Lentil Soup-Fakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
A delicious yet simple lentil dish is a Greek classic all year round. Tender lentils cooked with onion and served with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.
Course: Entre, Soup
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Vegan
Keyword: Greek Lentil Soup
Servings: 4
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
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  • If you have time soak the lentils.
  • In the meantime sauté onion in 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil until soft.
  • Place lentils in a pot adding just enough water to cover them well. Bring to a boil and then dump the water.
  • Place lentils in the pot with about 4 cups fresh water, the onion, garlic, bay leaf and pepper. Add the tomato paste and mix until well blended.
  • Simmer for about 40 minutes (it maybe more) until soft and thick.
  • Serve with a spoonful of olive oil and a drizzle of red wine vinegar, add salt as needed. You may accompany with feta cheese or cured fish or olives.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Leave a comment or share on instagram and mention @greekdiet
Photo by Elena Paravantes

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  • Reply Cheryl Craig December 15, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    I made this yesterday and my husband and I thought it was delicious. Looking forward to leftovers today. I love that it was so easy – now I will always keep lentils in my pantry. Thanks for a great recipe!!

    • Reply Elena December 16, 2017 at 7:38 am

      You are welcome! I sometimes add some olives and sundried tomatoes to the leftovers and eat it cold.

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  • Reply Carrie September 9, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    I really enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. I was afraid without using chicken broth as a base that it would be bland, but that was not the case. This was very tasty and I will definitely be making it again very soon. I did add a few wilted spinach leaves just to get my greens. I made it this afternoon and 1 cup portions for lunch and a piece of fruit is plenty enough to keep me full until the next meal. Since I got 8 servings out of this recipe, do you think this would freeze well?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN September 10, 2018 at 7:57 am

      Thank you for sharing Carrie. Yes, these would freeze well. I usually freeze them in separate servings.

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  • Reply Kelly January 16, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    I make a version of this with carrots, and toss in a bunch of spinach at the end – just toss it on top and let it wilt. Delicious with some feta or a small spoon of Greek yogurt!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 19, 2019 at 7:42 am

      Nice combo!

    • Reply Chelsea February 10, 2020 at 2:39 pm

      Could I use balsamic vinegar in place of red wine vinegar. I don’t have any of the latter at the moment. Thank you.

      • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN February 10, 2020 at 2:43 pm

        Hi Chelsea, You could but use less of it, as it may overpower the dish.

        • Reply Chelsea February 10, 2020 at 6:01 pm

          Thank you!

  • Reply Patty January 30, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    I can never find brown lentils in the store so I used green ones. What is the difference in texture? Also do you simmer covered or uncovered?

  • Reply Sarah February 26, 2019 at 10:22 am

    My take on this recipe ended up looking a bit more reddish/brownish than the picture (maybe my tablespoons of tomato paste were a bit too much?), but nevertheless it was still great! =)

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN March 1, 2019 at 7:01 am

      Yes it varies-no worries! The color can be a bit more red depending on the amount of tomato paste, but also the water added.

  • Reply Angela K. Marvin March 25, 2019 at 1:44 am

    This was delicious, Elena! The vinegar and olive oil really kick it up a notch. In the last week, I’ve made your stewed chicken, spanakorizo, spaghetti puttanesca, and this. Everything has been perfect! Greek food has been my favorite cuisine for years, so eating like this is a no-brainer! REALLY enjoying my fresh healthy food with your great site to guide me!

  • Reply Cheryl Craig April 23, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    Have made this about 8 or 10 times My husband and I love it. I’ve made it using black and green lentils and it’s just as delicious. I have a question though – why the #3 instruction?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN April 23, 2019 at 4:49 pm

      Happy you enjoy it! The idea behind the quick boil is to make them more easily digestible.

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  • Reply Gigi May 16, 2020 at 3:35 am

    What is the purpose of boiling the lentils and then dumping water? Is this to replace the soaking time?

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