In the history of this young blog, this is already the fifth lentil recipe I share with you. This time, a Mediterranean spicy spinach lentil soup–a textbook-Mediterranean-diet recipe. And if you ever thought lentils were a tasteless legume, the flavors in this 30-minute lentil soup will surprise you!
It is no secret to those who follow this blog that, of the legume family, I highly favor lentils. In fact, dried lentils are a year-round item in my Mediterranean pantry.
If you’ve tried plain steamed lentils, you probably noticed their neutral taste. Pay closer attention, and you will recognize a subtle sweetness underneath. Because of that I feel that lentils provide full permission to play with flavoring. In this lentil recipe, I start with onions and garlic cooked in olive oil with earthy Mediterranean spices like cumin, coriander and sumac. A pinch of sugar to bring the sweetness out; crushed red peppers for a spicy kick; and a little lime juice for a pick-me-up sour finish! If you’re wondering, the answer is YES; your kitchen will smell like heaven the minute you start cooking!
This Mediterranean spicy spinach lentil soup is a flavorful and hearty one-pot dinner! You don’t need to add a thing but your favorite pita or freshly-baked rustic Italian bread. Because lentils pack lots of protein and fiber, they make a great substitute for meat. But if you absolutely need your meat fix, this lentil soup recipe pairs well with a quick side of your favorite sausage (I prefer spicy).
One last word, this lentil soup is even better the next day!
More lentil recipes below this post. Happy National Soup Month!
Here is the step-by-step for today’s Spicy Spinach Lentil Soup
In a large ceramic or cast iron pot, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the chopped onions and sautee until golden brown. Add the garlic, all the spices, dried mint, sugar and flour. Cook for about 2 minutes on medium-high heat stirring regularly.
Now add the broth and water. Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a rolling boil; add the frozen spinach and the lentils. Cook for 5 minutes on high heat then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the lentils are fully cooked to tender. (Partway through cooking, check the liquid levels, and if you need to add a little bit of hot water.)
Once the lentils are fully cooked, stir in the lime juice and chopped parsley. Remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes or so. Serve hot with pita bread or your favorite rustic Italian bread.
More lentil recipes:
Today’s lentil soup recipe is part of Food Network’s FN Dish #ComfortFoodFeast series. Here are more comforting soups from other participating bloggers:
The Lemon Bowl: Slow Cooker Posole Rojo
Creative Culinary: Split Pea Soup with Carrots and Ham
Homemade Delish: Italian Cioppino Soup
Taste with the Eyes: Wintery French Lentil Soup with Beef, Carrots, Sherry Vinegar
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Tomato Soup
Dishing with Divya: Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Creamy Vegetable Soup
From My Corner of Saratoga: Pressure Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup (in a slow cooker)
Red or Green: New Mexican Green Chile, Turkey & Posole Soup
The Heritage Cook: Creamy Cheesy Potato Soup (Gluten-Free)
In Jennie’s Kitchen: 14 Sensational Soups
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Winter Squash & Chickpea Ribollita
The Mom 100: Spicy Thai Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup
Healthy Eats: 5 No-Brainers for Improving Chicken Soup
FN Dish: Soup’s On! 5 Warming Must-Make Bowls