Spinach Lentil Soup

   When a close family member dies, you never really get over it, but just find ways to channel that grief in places that make some kind of rational sense. When my dad died in 1997, I wanted to continue the food traditions of his native Hungary. That is why I do Hungarian baking at Christmas time or other savoury dishes throughout the year. With my mom gone for just over three months, I wanted to start to develop recipes she enjoyed. The first recipe I’ve developed is Spinach-Lentil soup. It was amongst her favourite soups.


Spinach Lentil Soup

1 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1 tsp whole coriander seeds

3 whole bay leaves

1/2 tsp dried chillies

200g(1/2 lb) turkey bones (or chicken bones, or double the onions and celery for a vegetarian option)

2 cups dry brown lentils

6 cups water

10 cups fresh spinach

2 Tbsp fresh thyme

2 cups milk

2 tsp salt

Black pepper to taste

Greek yogurt, fresh sliced chilli, fresh thyme for garnish


     In a large saucepan, sauté the onions and celery in 2 tsp oil over medium high heat until softened but not browned. Grind the coriander, bay leaves, and dried chillies to a fine powder and add to the sautéed vegetables. Stir and cook for a further minute or two until fragrant. Add the bones, lentils and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover with a lid and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Remove from heat, add the spinach and fresh thyme. Stir into the lentils until the spinach wilts from the residual heat of the pot. Add the milk and salt and purée with a hand blender (or in batches with a blender or food processor) until smooth. Serve in bowls with a dollop of Greek yogurt, slices of fresh chilli, fresh thyme and black pepper.