This traditional Cretan Lentil Soup is a hearty and delicious Mediterranean Diet recipe. It’s easy to prepare, and you can prep your other ingredients while cooking the lentils. I love making this soup on Sunday for weekday lunches. Enjoy with a tasty and healthy chunk of sourdough bread.

Lentil Soup with Olive Oil and Orange

Lentil Soup with Olive Oil and Orange

Lentil Soup with Olive Oil and Orange (Greek Island of Crete)

Koula Barydakis
4.85 from 20 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 604 kcal


  • 1 pound lentils, washed well, stones removed
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 carrots, grated
  • 2 orange slices, peel and flesh
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • In a deep pot, add lentils and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 15 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking on a low boil for 30 minutes or until lentils are soft. Add more water if needed.


Calories: 604kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 20gFat: 37gSaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 64mgPotassium: 844mgFiber: 24gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1814IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 63mgIron: 6mg
Have you tried this recipe? Tell us about it!Click here to rate this recipe in the comments section below.
About the Author: Koula Barydakis
Koula Barydakis was born into a long tradition of eating and living Mediterranean on the Greek island of Crete. She is a chef who has worked in many of the top restaurants in Crete and in Greek Town in Toronto, Canada. Koula is the co-author of “Foods of Crete, Traditional Recipes of the Healthiest People in the World” and is currently completing her second cookbook. Koula teaches cooking classes to tourists in Crete and has been hired to teach classes in other countries as well.


  1. Caroline June 19, 2022 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    5 stars
    I love this and have made it many times as it. Tonight I am attempting it without having an orange in the house. I LOVE the orange in it so I’m going to try a substitution. I have lemon and orange juice. This could go poorly. Curious if anyone has subbed the orange with something brilliant. I could just leave it out but love the flavor it brings.

    • Bill Bradley, R.D. June 20, 2022 at 10:00 am - Reply

      I have used lemon before and found it still to be quite delicious. Glad you loved it!

  2. Ariatna Garzz April 12, 2022 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    I have had made this soup so many times! It is easy to make, all of the ingredients are usually always in my pantry and fridge, and it is so delicious and filling! It makes me feel so good! Love it!

  3. Janet March 9, 2019 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Do you eat the soup with 2 slices of orange with the peeling or do you take the orange peeling out and leave the flesh?

    • George Zikos March 11, 2019 at 3:19 pm - Reply

      You cook the orange slices in the soup, peel and all.

  4. Cheryl February 6, 2019 at 5:07 pm - Reply

    Is that really a cup of oil?

    • George Zikos February 12, 2019 at 9:38 pm - Reply

      Most definitely!

    • Michele November 6, 2021 at 6:29 am - Reply

      I cook for someone with high Cholesterol. Is it known that that much Olive Oil is safe for this condition!? The recipe looks delicious!

      • Bill Bradley, R.D. November 8, 2021 at 9:58 am

        Hi Michele,
        Generally speaking olive oil is fine for cholesterol and will increase HDL cholesterol (h for healthy). That being said, they should ask their Doctor. -Bill

  5. Mary January 9, 2019 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    What cheese is that on top in the photos?

  6. Sara January 9, 2019 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    What would you suggest for the times when using the pressure cooker setting on an instant pot?

    • George Zikos January 14, 2019 at 7:25 pm - Reply

      It depends on what recipe you’re making. Are you wondering for this Lentil soup recipe?

      • Rachelle March 9, 2019 at 1:05 pm

        The oerson didn’t respond, but I would like to know the cooking time for an electric pressure cooker. Thank you! Looks delicious.

      • George Zikos March 11, 2019 at 3:18 pm

        I haven’t made this recipe in a pressure cooker yet, but it is on the list of recipes I’m going to adapt for a pressure cooker (or Instant Pot).

  7. Margaret House December 10, 2018 at 12:36 am - Reply

    What color lentils green,red,brown or yellow do you use in this recipe?

  8. Annett June 15, 2018 at 7:46 pm - Reply

    Excellent soup!
    I am sensitive to nightshades, so i used butternut squash puree instead of tomato paste.
    Question: Does this freeze well?

    • George Zikos June 19, 2018 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      Glad you liked it! I haven’t tried freezing this, but lentil soups tend to freeze very well!

  9. Annett June 15, 2018 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Excellent! I am sensitive to nightshades, so i used butternut squash puree instead of tomato paste.
    Question: Does this freeze well?

    • George Zikos June 15, 2018 at 7:14 pm - Reply

      I haven’t frozen this one specifically, but yes lentil soup should freeze well!

  10. madmom.sharon January 11, 2015 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    This soup is delicious! I have tasted it while it is cooking, and it is wonderful. Decided to add a small amount of pasta (capellini) to it, but it would have been great on its own.

    • Christine Dutton January 20, 2015 at 3:13 pm - Reply

      That does sound like a very tasty addition. Thank you for trying our recipe and sharing your thoughts with Mediterranean Living!

Leave A Comment

Recipe Rating

Mediterranean Living

Our Newsletter

Get seasonal recipe ideas as well as special offers on our online programs, live webinars and video releases. Sent once a week.