Sue's Spinach and Lentil Soup

when i lived in sydney, i lived with a wonderful woman named jacky houssarini (my daughter petra’s gorgeous aussie godmother). her heritage is lebanese and her mom (Sue) is an amazing cook! i would hang out to be invited to sunday lunch where she would prepare the most fantastic food. i would always ask jacky’s mom how she made this or that.

when i was pregnant with my daughter petra, she would send this soup home with jacky for me. i fell in love with it: garlicky, lemony and nourishing. when i moved back to melbourne, jacky gave my an old cookbook which had recipes for dishes similar to the ones that jacky’s mom made—the authors’ mother was from near the same village as jacky’s mom! this recipe is adapted from that book and tastes just like Sue’s soup

this soup is lemony and garlicky….and yum!! my daughter was off legumes for a while but she’s back on the lentil bandwagon after i prepared this for lunch a few weeks ago.


  • 1 ½ cups green lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ¾ cup chopped onion
  • 10 large spinach leaves or 1 bunch swiss chard, chopped fine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped fine
  • ½ cup lemon juice


  • small stock pot
  • morter & pestle
  • small saute pan


  1. Place lentils in pot, add water and place over medium heat. Bring to the boil, lower to simmer and cover. Cook until tender and set aside.
  2. Mash garlic and sea salt in morter & pestle until a paste is formed. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in saute pan and add onion. Cook gently until onion in browned. Add garlic/salt paste and greens and cook for 5 minutes until greens are wilted.
  4. Bring lentils to the boil and add the onion/greens/garlic mixture and the celery. Cook gently for 5 minutes.
  5. Add lemon juice.
  6. Enjoy!

What you should know

This makes about 2 litres of soup. Sometimes I puree a few soup spoons of the lentils before adding the onion/greens/garlic mixture and the celery; it makes it thicker. Also, make sure to sort your lentils thoroughly—you don’t want any stones to ruin your soup!

Re: Sue's Spinach and Lentil Soup

This soup was delicious. My husband and I gobbled it up. We especially enjoyed the lemon flavor. Granted I used a garlic press ( I don’t have a mortar and pestle), but regardless the soup was quick and easy to prepare.

Re: Sue's Spinach and Lentil Soup

great to hear you enjoyed the soup. thanks for the heads-up re garlic press—nice to know if i’m ever somewhere w/o a morter & pestle!

Re: Sue's Spinach and Lentil Soup