Lentil, greens, cumin and lemon soup {vegan + gluten free + grain free}

Lentil, greens, cumin and lemon soup // vegan

(cliccate qui per la versione italiana)

Happy New Year to everyone! I have spent my holidays cooking and eating so much that now all I want to do is stay as far away from the kitchen as possible….or at least prepare hearty and light meals, such as this one. It’s the least photogenic dish I’ve made so far, so please excuse the ugly photo. I’ll try to photograph it again (for the 3rd time!!)

This is my favorite soup. It calls for a handful of ingredients and tastes and smells amazing. Lentils, potatoes and chard/cavolo nero are typical ingredients of wintery meals here in northern Italy but cumin, a sweet spice with a fragrant aroma, adds a lot to a dish that could be quite banal.

Cumin is a very old spice, found to be used from as early as the 2nd millennium BC. The story goes that in the Middle Ages it became recognized as a symbol of love and fidelity. Those who carried cumin seeds during their own wedding ceremony were said to live happily ever after, and married soldiers were sent off to war with a loaf of cumin bread baked by their wives.

This plant is native to Egypt, Syria and Iran, and is now widely used in south East Asia, the Middle East, China and various African and central American countries.

What we use in our kitchens, often ground, are the seeds, similar in shape to fennel and aniseeds, but smaller and darker. Not only is cumin wonderful to give a strong, vibrant flavor to many dishes, it can also be infused to help with stomach pain and gas.

Don’t worry about using the exact doses, I always wing it! In my family we make this soup quite often, we use both mangold chard and cavolo nero and they are equally delicious!

 Lentil, greens, cumin and lemon soup // vegan

Lentil, greens, cumin and lemon soup // vegan

LENTIL, GREENS, CUMIN AND LEMON SOUP {vegan + gluten free + grain free}
by Marta Giaccone

serves 3-4
prep time: 10 min, cooking time: 1 hr, total: 1 hr 10 min


150 gr dried lentils, rinsed
500 gr chard (or other winter leafy greens such as cavolo nero)
2 potatoes
1 onion
1 tsp cumin seeds
juice of 1 lemon
vegetable stock (optional)

Lentil, greens, cumin and lemon soup // vegan


  1. Boil plenty of water.
  2. Wash and chop potatoes and greens. Chop onion.
  3. Heat up 2 tbsp olive oil in a big pot, add cumin, let toast for a minute on a low flame, stirring constantly, then add onion. Let sauté, covered, until tender and golden, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add lentils and greens, then cover with boiling water or vegetable stock, cover and let cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Add chopped potatoes. Keep cooking until lentils are tender but still hold their shape, about 30 minutes.
  6. Just before turning off the heat, add lemon juice and salt to taste, stir well and let cool a few minutes. Serve as is, with a drizzle of olive oil, or over basmati rice or cous cous.

Lentil, greens, cumin and lemon soup // vegan

Lentil, greens, cumin and lemon soup // vegan

2 thoughts on “Lentil, greens, cumin and lemon soup {vegan + gluten free + grain free}”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *