Longevity lentil soup


Posted on: 8th November, 2016

Category: A Flavour of West Cork

Contributor: Karen Austin

Lettercollum Kitchen Project, 22 Connolly Street, Clonakilty phone 0238836938 • info@lettercollum.ie • www.lettercollum.ie

This is another of these ‘live to be one hundred’ recipes. It uses simple ingredients, it’s easy to make, and comforting for wintery days. Not that the Greeks, from where this recipe hails, wait until it’s cold to eat it; it’s eaten at any time.

It’s a variation on many Mediterranean soups – onions, pulses and tomatoes. Ingredients that provide enough nutrition to survive very healthily, in more ways than one, as the cost of a big pot of soup like this won’t break the bank.

The Greek factor in this recipe is the oregano, which grows all over the islands that we visited. In the spring, the oregano is lush, green and squishy underfoot and in the autumn it has dried on the plants. It’s so dry that if you walk over it, it crushes to powder and releases an amazing aroma. The oregano definitely wakes up the lentils in this recipe.

The secret is to be generous with the olive oil, it might seem like a lot to use but it’s an integral part of the flavour and enriches the soup.

Eat with crusty bread or even a few spuds on the side.

Greek Lentil Soup


• 250g lentils – brown or lentil vert

• 150mls olive oil

• 1 large onion – peeled and chopped

• 1-2 sticks celery – diced

• 2-3 cloves garlic – peeled and chopped

• 2 carrots – peeled and diced

• 1 can tomatoes – chopped

• 1 tsp oregano – preferably Greek

• 1 litre vegetable stock

• salt and pepper

• chopped parsley to serve


Heat a saucepan with the olive oil and add the onions and diced celery. Cook on a medium heat until the onions soften then add the diced carrots, cook for few minutes then stir in the garlic. Cook for a minute or two then stir in the lentils. Stir so that the lentils are well coated, then add the tomatoes, oregano and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, lower the heat and cook for 25-35 minutes, until the lentils are soft but have not begun to disintegrate. Taste, then season with salt and black pepper. If the soup is too thick, thin with a little water. Stir in the chopped parsley before serving.

Like most people we are beginning to think of Christmas – especially as we have a shop. The Christmas baking is about to begin and I have lists all over my desk as usual.

There are two more cooking classes this year. The Middle Eastern/Lebanese class is on Saturday, November 19 where we’ll be making lots of mezze, pilafs, stews and soup, and the Curry class is on Saturday, November 26. This class is a collection of curries from Thailand, India and Malaysia all served with interesting sidekicks.

Both classes will give plenty of inspiring recipes for the winter months. There are a few places free at this moment so if you are would like to come please give me a shout.

Meanwhile enjoy November


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Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

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A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

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