Faki (Greek Lentil Soup)

This soup is think, hearty, and full of vegetables. And it’s quick to make since lentils do not require soaking.


  • 1 pound dry lentils
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2–3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2–3 carrots, chopped
  • 2–4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or lamb (optional)
  • 1–2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2–3 quarts water


  1. Lightly sauté chopped onion, celery, carrots and minced garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent. Do not brown. (Optional: brown ground beef/lamb; drain well).
  2. Rinse lentils and place in large soup pot.
  3. Add vegetables (with oil) and meat (if used) to lentils.
  4. Add pepper, bay leaves, oregano and salt.
  5. Add 2 quarts water; cover and bring to boil.
  6. Reduce heat to simmer.
  7. Cook 30–40 minutes until lentils are just tender (not mushy).
  8. Add tomato sauce and additional quart water, if desired.
  9. Cover and bring to boil.
  10. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  11. Taste and just seasonings.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with crusty bread and a salad. This soup tastes even better reheated the next day; it also freezes well.