Greek fakes – vegetarian / vegan brown lentil soup

Today, I am pleased to share another traditional Greek meal. Fakes is a wholesome and yummy soup that the Greeks enjoy at lunchtime, especially during winter. Emphasis on ‘lunchtime’, as this meal may be a little heavy to digest before bedtime. Vegetarians and vegans, you’re going to love this post!

Make sure to scroll down for a recipe of RED LENTILS from sunny Morocco!
Health tip: What does orange have to do with Greek fakes, I hear you say? Not a part of the recipe, of course, but it’s just my own trick to have a small glass of orange juice before I enjoy this traditional Greek meal. The Vitamin C helps the body to absorb the iron in the lentils. Check out my yummy family recipe below, and make sure to scroll all the way down for a Moroccan lentil soup that smells and tastes delicious, thanks to its many spices. And it takes a fraction of the time to make that one as it uses split red lentils instead. Yes. A post of two recipes for a change. I am cutting corners 🙂 Enjoy!
250gr brown lentils (or 1 tumbler, roughly)
1 red onion (chopped)
1-2 garlic cloves (chopped, not too thin)
1 bay leaf
Red wine vinegar, oregano, extra virgin olive oil
Using a large plate, check the fakes gradually for stones and other foreign matter. Wash well and drain.
Put in  a pan 2 pints of water, roughly (1 litre and a bit) and bring to boil. Add the fakes and stir well.
Note: Do not add salt at this point or the fakes will go hard.
Bring to boil and cover, then simmer for about 40 minutes. Monitor and stir from time to time, adding more hot water from the kettle as needed.
Add onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt, pepper. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
Add red wine vinegar, olive oil and oregano. Taste and add more, if needed. Personally, I am frugal with the olive oil and the oregano but very generous with the vinegar.
Enjoy! Goes well with fresh bread, feta, olives, scallions, or red onion cut up. I also enjoy it with an omelette on the side or some cured fish, like sardines.
Variations: Add 3-4 cut up tomatillos or 1/2 a medium, skinned and grated beef tomato, or a little chopped fresh spinach in the pan when you add the onion.
And here’s a mouth-watering Moroccan variation with delicious spices that uses split red lentils and takes a jiffy to cook!
200-250 gr of split red lentils
About 6-8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion (chopped)
1-2 garlic cloves (chopped, not too thin)
1 carrot (sliced)
A small piece of red pepper (chopped or in strips)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
A sprinkle of cinnamon
About 1/3 of a tomato passata pack (tomato puree)
Black pepper (a generous amount!)
A little celery, chopped (optional)
A little parsley
A little fresh lemon juice
Saute the onion and the garlic in the oil for a minute. Add the carrot slices and stir for a bit, add the passata, the lentils and hot water from the kettle so the lentils can boil comfortably (have more ready in the kettle for later. It will be needed as the lentils boil).
Add the spices with the lentils, and the celery, if using.
Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Add salt and red pepper. Simmer a couple of minutes, add seasoning to taste.
Towards the end, add chopped parsley, lemon juice, stir and serve.
I use the same side dishes for this meal as I do for the Greek fakes. Occasionally, I bake mini cheese pastries (tyropitakia) instead, like in the above photo. Let your imagination run wild and enjoy the fusion of the Greek and Moroccan dishes. Works for me, I know that 🙂
Health tip: The black pepper in this meal should be generous as it increases the absorption of turmeric in the body by 200%! Believe me, this is a good thing, thanks to the latter’s anti-oxidant, pain-killing, anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventing properties!
Hungry for more? Browse through all my recipes here:


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