Greek Lentil Soup |

This past weekend, I traveled to Detroit for my grandma Lillian’s “unveiling”. An unveiling is an America Jewish custom. After someone is buried, their gravestone is covered for up to a year. Then, the family gathers to remove the covering, and to commemorate the life of the deceased.

Most of my dad’s family has always lived in Detroit. I’ve been making trips there every year or so for as long as I have been alive, sharing events such as the Jewish holidays, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, and more with my grandparents (who’ve now both passed on), aunts, uncles, and cousins.

I stay with my aunt Beverly and my uncle Hadley pretty much every time I visit. They’re the sweetest people, and boy do they know how to feed a crowd.

I do not ever recall a time when I’ve been in Detroit and when there was not a brunch at their home. A brunch with platters stacked high with warm bagels surrounded by perfect white orbs of cream cheese. Trays filled with salty, melt in your mouth delicious lox, and generous chunks of fabulous smoked sable. Creamy, rich tuna and whitefish salads. Juicy ripe tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, and piles of sliced onions. Neatly arranged hard boiled eggs and an array of tasty cheeses. And the sweets: chocolate and apple babkas. Seven layer cake. Mandlebrot. Macaroons.

These are not foods I eat very often…but they’re foods I look forward to with great anticipation when it’s time for a family get-together in Detroit. I try not to stuff my self silly when I come face to face with those platters, but it’s so hard not to. It’s all so good…

I got home from Detroit last night. Though I had packed all the dreamy Jewish foods above into my belly earlier in the day, I didn’t have any dinner, and was starving when I walked through my door after the two hour drive from the airport at 11:30 pm. I’d made and photographed this Greek Lentil Soup late last week, and was so grateful there was some left over to gobble before heading to bed.

This vegetarian soup, my version of the Greek soup known as Fakes, can be served hot or cold: it’s perfect for when you’re looking for a light and nourishing meal. While I love all of the Greek-inspired embellishments (the parsley, roasted red pepper, and the feta), you could certainly eat it without them if you’re just looking for a basic lentil soup. If you like the idea of the toppings and you avoid dairy, chopped Kalamata olives would make a good salty substitute for the feta.

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Greek Lentil Soup |


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  1. 1

    Diana@Spain-In-Iowa — September 19, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

    It’s so interesting to learn about your culture Winnie. I had never heard of an unveiling before. It’s good to hear you had a great time celebrating life and death with your family. That lentil soup looks so simple and yummy. Perfect for this time of year. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 2

    Winnie — September 21, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

    Well if there’s one thing we Jews know how to do it’s how to celebrate with food :) The unveiling wasn’t really connected to the soup, but I tried to tie them together…glad you like it!

  3. 3

    Jessica @ How Sweet — September 19, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

    wow – your time away sounds incredible and very nourishing – not just for the body but also for the soul. i love the sound of this soup because anything labeled “greek” entices me. delicious!

  4. 4

    Winnie — September 21, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

    I know Jessica- I am obsessed by all things Greek, as well!

  5. 5

    Paula — September 19, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

    Your photographs of this soup are beautiful Winnie! I’m sure a bowl of this hit the spot for you last evening. So nice of you to share some of your Grandmother Lillian’s unveiling weekend with us. I too, have never heard about this Jewish tradition before this post and I think it is a lovely one. Your Aunt Beverly and Uncle Hadley sound like perfect hosts for family gatherings and it’s easy to see why you enjoy going back whenever you can to spend time with them.

  6. 6

    Winnie — September 21, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

    I love your comments Paula…thanks so much for visiting :)

  7. 7

    Kathryn — September 20, 2011 @ 3:17 am

    What a wonderful looking soup – the colours are just gorgeous. I also hadn’t heard of the unveiling before but I think it’s lovely to be able to celebrate someone’s life in that way, thank you for sharing.

  8. 8

    Winnie — September 21, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

    Thanks Kathryn! It’s interesting because I was sort of grumbling about going on the trip but once I was there I was so glad.

  9. 9

    Bev Weidner — September 20, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    That. Is. Gorgeous.

    I need this in my life, pronto.

  10. 10

    Winnie — September 21, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

    Thanks Bev :)

  11. 11

    Dee D. — September 20, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

    Love the photo! Especially the colors, and the soup looks so delicious! Never tried greek cooking, might try this out :)

  12. 12

    Winnie — September 21, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    Oh give it a try! This is a simple recipe and so tasty.

  13. 13

    Oui, Chef — September 21, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    This sounds absolutely addicting, Winnie. Lovely photos too, as always. I’ve got some plum tomatoes and fresh oregano in my garden that would be great in this dish.

  14. 14

    Winnie — September 21, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    A little oregano would be great, Steve!

  15. 15

    Genie @ Healthy Living Now — September 21, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

    I am not a lover of lentils; however, your recipe looks very palatable and is summoning me to try it. I think i actually will! Thanks for sharing.

  16. 16

    Winnie — September 21, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    Glad you’re thinking about trying it Genie!

  17. 17

    France @ Beyond The Peel — September 21, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

    Wow, that’s one beautiful soup. I love lentils and I’m always looking for ways to change up our traditional lentil soup recipe. I like the olive topping suggestion too.

  18. 18

    Winnie — September 21, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

    I almost always make lentils the same boring way…this was a good change ;)

  19. 19

    Jeanette — September 21, 2011 @ 5:44 pm

    What a wonderful tradition, I had never heard of an unveiling. I love Greek Salad and lentil soup, so I know I would like your soup.

  20. 20

    Winnie — September 21, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

    I think you’ll like it, too, Jeanette!

  21. 21

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — September 21, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

    I was just leaving a comment over at Guilty Kitchen about how I love new inspiration for vegetarian dishes… And then this was the next post that came up in my RSS reader. I love the flavors in this soup. I can always use some new ideas for meatless meals. Looking forward to adding this one to the menu!

  22. 22

    Winnie — September 21, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    This is a pretty simple soup made more interesting and tasty by a few toppings…would be great with a side of warm pitas for dinner…hope you give it a try, Jen!

  23. 23

    Monet — September 22, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    This looks like such a healthy, hearty soup. Perfect after a weekend of indulgences! Thank you for making me smile. I love visiting your blog before I head to work. It is a great start to my long day. Much love and many blessings from Austin!

  24. 24

    Kristi Rimkus — September 25, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

    I love simple and hearty soups like this. The lentils would make this a light, yet filling meal. This would be a welcome dish after a long trip home.

  25. 25

    Nisha — October 4, 2011 @ 3:21 am

    We recently stocked up on lentils, so I’ve been on the hunt for delicious lentil recipes. I’ll try anything that calls for feta :)

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    Meredith Lines — July 8, 2013 @ 11:43 pm

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  31. 31

    Marie — September 2, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

    This looks absolute delicious. Now that the weather here in Vancouver is decidedly becoming fall-like I will be making this soup.

  32. 32

    Ginger — October 22, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

    I am planning on making this recipe for our school’s Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. Can you tell me approx. how many servings this recipe yields?


  33. 33

    Winnie — October 22, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

    Hi Ginger,
    I’d say 8-10.