Mrs Maltezos Lentil Soup

Mrs Maltezos Lentil Soup is warm and comforting. Its perfect on a cold day with a crusty piece of toasted bread for dunking. This light soup is lightly seasoned with bay leaves and finished with a little tomato juice. Its takes less than an hour to make this easy soup.

Mrs Maltezos was wonderful Greek cook and friend

Mrs Maltezos was a close family friend. She immigrated to the United States from Greece in the late 1960s to get a heart operation that was not available in Greece at the time. Fortunately, the surgery was a success and she lived for many more years. She never did learn to speak English, but I’m sure she understood much more than she let on.

When she would come to Florida to visit her son, George (Joe’s other brother), I would make it a point to cook with her. We made dolmades (grape leaves), Stifado (Greek beef stew), Tiropita (Greek cheese puffs) and other items, but we never made this Lentil Soup together. She always made it before I came over and we would eat it for lunch. She passed away a few years ago and I finally got the recipe after lots of asking. Her son, Gus, knew the recipe and I would ask him for it all the time, but he always said, “I’ll just make it for you”. That was sweet, but he lives in Milwaukee and I don’t. So finely after many years, he gave me the recipe and I’ve been making it ever since.

Why I love Mrs Maltezos Lentil Soup so much!

I like Mrs Maltezos Lentil Soup more than other lentil soups because it is so light. It is very brothy with lentils and vegetables floating throughout. I have a laurel tree in my yard, so am lucky enough to have fresh bay leaves year round. If you don’t have fresh bay leaves, dry ones will work just fine.

The second it gets chilly outside, I make this soup. It makes a good size batch so its perfect for a large group. This soup freezes well too. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

Mrs Maltezos Lentil Soup

5 from 41 votes
Recipe by Margaret Sanfelippo Course: SoupsCuisine: GreekDifficulty: Easy


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Mrs Maltezos Lentil Soup is warm and comforting. This light soup is lightly seasoned with bay leaves and finished with a little tomato juice.


  • 1 cup 1 dry lentils, rinsed

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 olive oil

  • 1 1/2 tbsp 1 1/2 garlic, minced (about 2 large cloves)

  • 1 1/4 cups 1 1/4 onions, finely diced (about 1/2 large onion)

  • 1 cup 1 celery, finely diced (about 2 large stalks of celery)

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 carrot, finely diced (about 1 large carrot)

  • 9 cups 9 chicken broth

  • 3 3 bay leaves

  • 2 tsp 2 salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 tomato juice


  • Heat a big pot with the olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery and carrots. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until softened.
  • Add the garlic and bay leaves. Cook for another minute or two. Add the chicken broth. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil.
  • Once the soup is boiling, add the lentils. Give it a good stir so they don’t stick together. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 25-30, until the soup begins to thicken and the lentils start to become soft.
  • Add the tomato juice and cook another 5-10 minutes until the lentils are soft. Season with the remaining 1 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

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