By Christian Dischler


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 4 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne or red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups green or red lentils
  • 2 cups water, as needed
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 lemon or lime, juiced


  1. In a large cast iron or ceramic pot, heat olive oil on medium high until shimmering.  Add onion, pepper and carrots.  Cook until onions begin to turn golden brown.  Add garlic and cook for additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add spices, tomato paste and flour.  Cook until fragrant.
  2. Add vegetable stock to mixture and continue stirring until liquid comes to a boil and paste is incorporated.  Add lentils to liquid and cook on high heat for 5 minutes.  Lower to simmer, place lid on and cook for 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
  3. Add spinach, cilantro and citrus juice. Cook until spinach is tender. Add water to the soup as needed to reach desired consistency. Season to taste and enjoy.

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