Meniere’s Recipe: Greek lentil soup (vegetarian and very low sodium)

This is based on a Greek lentil soup called Fakes or Faki .

We have family members who like spicy, and others who don’t so I make two soups.
If you have this problem, you can make one full recipe in one pot, and the same in another, adding two jalapenos to the spicy pot.
Or you can make one full recipe, and then divide it after and hour, when you put in the lentils, and add a jalapeno to the spicy pot. See note on jalapenos below.

2 tins no-sodium tomatoes
2 large onions
5 – 6 large carrots
4 – 5 sticks celery
1 carton very low sodium vegetable stock
1 heaped spoon garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar (I used balsamic, but different recipes use different types)
2 tablespoons sugar
some fake salt (no-salt)
oregenum and basil (you can try parsley, mint and bay leaf, as these appear in different recipes)
black pepper
12 oz of dry lentils.

Lentils come in a 16 oz plastic bag, usually. I use about 2/3rds of a bag per full recipe, and cook the soup without the lentils for about an hour, then with the lentils for about 1.5 hours.

I’ve made this soup in a couple of ways. I’ve blended most of the ingredients, and kept one onion (finely chopped) and one tin of tomatoes out of the blender, to add texture. I cooked the whole lot for about an hour before adding the lentils, then cooking it for 1.5 hours more.

I’ve also tried blending everything and cooking it for about 1 hour before adding the lentils, then cooking it for another 1.5 hours.

The heat can be adjusted in a couple of ways. You can use more jalapenos (two green ones), or you can use hotter jalapenos. The little red and yellow ones are very hot. The heat is mainly in the connective tissue that holds the seeds, so top-and-tail them and blend the whole pepper into the soup if you like things very hot. Wear gloves and be careful not to breathe the fumes.

Another way to control heat is to make hot sauce (see other recipes) and people can stir it in as they choose. Heat is a great way for Meniere’s patients to get more flavor, especially when they are getting into the low-sodium diet, but heat needs flavor as well.