Auntie Loulla's Greek Lentil Soup Recipe (Faki Soupa)


lentil soup recipe

‘But what I have accomplished in this art of mine, no play-actor has ever accomplished at all.  This art of mine was an empire of smoke, I was a sour sauce maker at the court of Agathocles of Sicily.  I was the first to introduce the Royal Lentil Soup’.
(‘Demetrius’, in the play ‘Areopagile’, quoted in the ‘Deiphosophist’ 200 AD.)

Lentil soup was the ancient Greeks favourite winter soup and has been made since the Bronze Age in Egypt and India.

‘Faki’ is now considered  ‘poor man’s’ soup because it is inexpensive to make and very filling, however, it is nutritious and tasty and unlike other pulses, lentils do not need overnight soaking and can be bought easily in packets and tins.

Lentil soup is traditionally eaten on Good Friday but without the luxury of the olive oil, in keeping with the spirit of the day.

I alternate with puy, red and brown lentils.

Loulla Astin

Here is my Auntie Loulla’s recipe. Loulla owns the award winning Greek restaurant Kosmos in Manchester and has shared many of her recipes on TV over the years.

healthy lentil soup


225g (8oz) large brown, red or puy lentils
1.2 ltr (2 pints) vegetable, vegan stock or water
100ml (1/2 cup) virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
½ small chilli, finely chopped
1 x 500ml carton of ‘passata’
salt and black pepper
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
fresh parsley or coriander for garnish
creme fraiche/feta cheese


Wash the lentils in cold water and place in a large pan. Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Drain away the discoloured water, return the lentils to the pan and cover with the vegetable stock or water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes.
Whilst the lentils are simmering, prepare the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onions, carrots and celery until soft. Add the garlic and chilli and sauté for a further 2 minutes. Introduce all the contents of the frying pan into the pan containing the lentils. Add the ‘passata’ and the bay leaves, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes, by this time the lentils should be soft.
Add the wine vinegar and seasoning and serve in large bowls garnished with chopped parsley or coriander. You can add creme fraiche or a little feta cheese on the top.

Recipe ©Loulla Astin.

Do also join Loulla’s private Facebook Group which has thousands of members: Loulla’s Recipe Share.

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13 Responses

  1. Adventures of a Novice Mum

    Thanks for this post, so glad I stumbled upon it from your ‘dieting’ post … good timing really! I’ve never done lentil soup myself until recently and it was helpful to know that that I needed to ‘drain away the discoloured water, return the lentils to the pan and cover with the vegetable stock or water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer’.

    I’m terrible at following recipes exactly but recipes give me ideas about how I should cook.

    Thanks and thanks to your aunty too 🙂

  2. Tessie Madry

    Lentils are also commonly used in Ethiopia in a stew-like dish called kik, or kik wot, one of the dishes people eat with Ethiopia’s national food, injera flat bread. Yellow lentils are used to make a nonspicy stew, which is one of the first solid foods Ethiopian women feed their babies.-…”

  3. Karen

    That looks yummy and fairly easy. I may have to give it a whirl at the weekend! I LOVE Lentils!

    I’m on a Social Media fast (taking 60 days off my personal Twitter and FB accounts, and I’ve been laying low in blogland, mainly concentrating on re-doing my blog, tarting it up and writing, but I am back reading others blogs and catching up with everyone!)

  4. Grenglish

    Looks yummy! Yiayia Vasso has passed her lentil soup recipe onto us and the Greek God(zilla) has made it a few times but it is never the same as when his mum makes it!
    She regularly stocks our fridge and freezer up with it though and is in fact popping over later today with some.
    Gotta love ’em x

  5. Babes about Town

    Lentils are something I’ve never cooked strangely although my hubby makes a delish lentils and sausage casserole. This recipe has tempted me to try my hand at making lentils… sounds tasty!

    And your aunt’s a chef too? You guys are the ultimate yummy family!


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