My mother-in-law grew up in Southern Greece and ran a restaurant with her now-passed husband for several years. Not much gets out of her kitchen without a healthy dose of cinnamon, which is excellent for flavor and digestion.
This recipe produced a soup that is awfully close to hers and very good, although I made some modifications. I substituted chicken stock for the water, I added two stalks of celery, I skipped the rosemary, and I probably didn't use a full quarter cup of olive oil (I sprayed my pot with Pam Olive Oil and then went around the pan two or three times with a drizzle of olive oil). Then, REALLY IMPORTANTLY, I added a cinnamon stick when simmering the lentils You could just as easily use ground cinnamon if you don't have a stick. Also, I didn't skimp on the tomato paste or the oregano--I probably added about 1/2 of a small can of tomato paste and a scant tablespoon of oregano (I use dried and I always crush it by rubbing my palms together over the stock pot as I add it to the soup--just because that's how my MIL does it). Because I used stock, I skipped the additional salt.
My husband liked it without the vinegar, I would recommend adding a little (not a lot) for brightness. With the cinnamon, you really could go either way. I didn't see the need to add olive oil at the end as a garnish so I skipped that.
This is a great meal that will fill you up, is cheap, relatively easy to make, and will keep in the fridge for a week if you make extras.
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My mother-in-law grew up in Southern Greece and ran a restaurant with her now-passed husband...