Faki is a Greek soup made with lentils. This recipe is a family favorite not only for its great flavor, but also because it is so easy to make. Although it cooks for a long time, you basically just throw everything into a pot, turn on the heat, and walk away. The traditional recipe does not include potatoes but I enjoy the hearty quality that they lend to the soup. If you desire a lighter soup, or are serving this as a first course, you can easily leave them out. A splash of red wine vinegar added just before serving provides a bright, perky flavor that perfectly complements the earthiness of the lentils. All you need to make this into a complete meal is a dark green salad and some bread.
Faki
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Grilled Pitas or Slices of Sesame Seed Bread
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Spinach Salad with Grated Carrots, Alfalfa Sprouts, and Sliced Avocado

Ingredients

1 cup brown lentils
6 cups vegetable stock
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
2 potatoes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper

Cooking Instructions

Pick through the lentils and remove any rocks or foreign objects that may be present. Rinse the lentils in water, drain, and set aside until ready to use.

Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a large pot over high heat. When it reaches a boil, add the lentils, celery, carrot, garlic, onion, olive oil, tomato sauce, and bay leaf. Return to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the soup, partially covered, for 45 minutes. Chop the potatoes into bite-sized pieces and add them to the soup. Cook for about 20 minutes longer or until the potatoes are cooked through. Add the red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper as necessary, and serve.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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Always pick through lentils before adding them to any dish. Lentils, along with other dry legumes, sometimes contain rocks or other foreign objects.

Wait until just before serving to add the vinegar to this soup. It's vibrant flavor will be lost if added any sooner.

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