Growing Super Soup

Generations of kids grew up hearing about the super-power of spinach. Of course! They were told by the most reliable authority:

A can of spinach – and Popeye The Sailor Man was ready to defeat all the wrongdoers of the world! Without a doubt, spinach has powerful properties, essential for our health, but so do all the other green leafy vegetables, chief among them kale, the new post-Popeye super food. In case you think of it as just another trend, take at look at Ancient Greece, the birthplace of Olympic Games, proud of its athletes and warriors.

Related image

They ate frugally, and their diet consisted mainly of grains (barley and spelt being the most popular), fruit and vegetables, supplemented by cheeses and fresh fish. With the exception of athletes in training, who in later years were directed to eat meat, Ancient Greeks stressed the austerity of their diet (Hesiod, Works and Days), and considered research into culinary arts decadent. Meat was very rarely mentioned as part of daily meals.

So it happened, according to Homer, that the hero of Trojan war, wily Ulysses, AKA Odysseus, having met harrowing challenges on his way back from Troy, finally came home, to resume his rightful place as the King of Ithaca. What he found, though, was a crowd of rowdy guys competing for the hand of his wife Penelope and meanwhile, drinking his wine and eating meat, thus depleting his cattle. Decadent? In spades! In this final episode of the classic all-star film, you see enraged Ulysses taking revenge on the hapless suitors. I dare to assume that his diet during the ten years of his travels consisted mainly of kale and lentils, cooked the Greek way as a soup.

soaking lentils.jpg

Since I don’t have the ability to grow my own vegetables, I do the next best thing – sprout all beans. To start this Ancient Greek soup, I first rinsed and soaked green lentils overnight. The level of water should be roughly double the level of beans.

soaking lentils 2.jpg

In the morning, my lentils doubled in volume. I rinsed them again and left them in a large colander to dry.

soaking lentils 3.jpg I then transferred them, still damp, into a cheesecloth bag, leaving the top of the bag open for air circulation.

soaking lentils 4.jpg Here you see the cheesecloth bag with lentils inside a net bag, hanging on a hook. The net bag is not really necessary, but for some reason the cats avoid it, while the cheesecloth bag alone is a constant temptation. Depending on the freshness of dry beans (and you never know what you buy in a store!), it may take a day or two of rinsing, drying, and hanging on a hook to dry completely.

sprouts 1.jpg

And then you see a miraculous thing: little cute tails! (this photo is for my favorite purple person, Melinda of – look at my nails!). You are ready to cook!

Green soup 1.jpg

Your “grown up” green lentils go into the Instant Pot, together with sea salt, pepper, and pareve soup powder.

Green soup 2.jpg

Add chopped kale, green leafy celery tops and parsley stems, mix it all up, and press the Manual button. Go do something else or relax for about an hour and watch the inimitable Anthony Quinn as Zorba the Greek:

When your Instant Pot beeps at you, carefully release the steam, left the lid, and inhale a marvelous aroma of Ancient Greece.

Green soup fin

Savor your green Super Soup and grow stronger every day!


  • 2 cups of sprouted green lentils (alternatively, just soak them overnight and rinse them, but sprouted beans are much healthier and better for digestion)
  • 2 cups of tightly packed chopped fresh kale
  • Handful of leafy celery tops
  • Handful of chopped parsley stems
  • 1 tablespoon of pareve soup powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 quarts of water


  • To sprout any beans, rinse and soak them overnight in a glass, ceramic, or enamel container. Note: wood and metal cannot be used for sprouting. Water level should be double the level of beans. In the morning, rinse beans, spread in colander to dry, transfer to cheesecloth bag, hang on a hook. Rinse twice a day for a day or two, until green “tails” appear. Take as much as you need for cooking, portion and freeze the rest.
  • To cook in Instant Pot, combine all ingredients, mix lightly, set on Manual. Follow your Instant Pot instructions for releasing steam, when ready.




38 Comments Add yours

  1. lghiggins says:

    I have sprouted seeds for salads, but have never heard of sprouting beans for cooking. Whether cooking, science, the arts, history, or religion, I always learn something new from your blog posts, Dolly.💜

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, dear Linda, for your lovely compliments, but science is definitely not my cup of tea, or bowl of soup in this case.
      The sprouting adventure started with my husband’s physician who absolutely forbade him to have beans, unless they are sprouted. Since we love beans of all kinds and use them quite a bit, I had to learn to sprout them for cooking. They are softer, tastier, and are very good for digestion.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Dont put your light under the … shovel. Right? You are really something the the Library of Alexandria. All your postings are created like famous paintings, and each teaches a lot of things, never heared before, but unforgetable in the way you present. Thank you so much, Dolly! Best wishes, Michael

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Oh, Michael, you are too kind! Library of Alexandria indeed! I just like doing research and digging out interesting facts. The rest is a journalistic skill, developed by writing for newspaper and television in my youth. I love creating food and I love creating stories. And I simply have fun putting them together.
        Have a wonderful weekend, Michael!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. spearfruit says:

    Looks great Dolly. I should eat this every day and become the new popeye!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You do that, Gary, and all your medical issues will disappear!


    1. Thanks for stopping by, darling!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ren says:

    Wonderful recipe and experience, thank you.
    You know….I think I was brainwashed by Popeye. As a kid, I loved canned spinach. Today…no thanks! Just give me the plant and leave the can out of it.

    Grandma use to always have sprouted beans available in the fridge for eating. So very finicky she was on keeping them rinsed, sorted and clean. And oh so good they tasted!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I guess I’ve never experiences the canned veggies stage because we didn’t have them in Russia in my times. What you didn’t grow, you would buy at the farmer’s market, and everything was strictly seasonal and always organic, since there were no chemicals available to anyone. Summer was a homemade pickling, canning, and “jamming” (making jams!) season to prepare for winter.
      Thank you for sharing your childhood memories with me, dear Ren, and I am glad my post has brought them to your mind.
      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. And, at 102, Kirk Douglas is still with us

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And we still love him! Thank you for stopping by, Derrick

      Liked by 1 person

  5. randyjw says:

    That soup looks great (and so do your nails)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Rachel! Shavuah Tov!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. randyjw says:

        Shavuah Tov to you, too, Dolly!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. My sprouting trays need to come out again and be put to use. And delicious food can be both decadent and healthy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally agree, dear Mimi. However, as you see, I do my sprouting without any special equipment, by using a large glass jar, a colander, and a cheesecloth bag.


  7. Another great, healthy recipe. And I loooove the nails!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, darling; I am so glad you like the recipe! as to nails, Lilac Lace by Sally Hansen.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. As it happens, I am fond of lentils and spinach both. But have never thought of combining the two! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment, dear Anna! I made this soup with kale, rather than spinach, but spinach will work beautifully.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yum! My mother used to sprout her beans too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I hear that in Boro Park and Crown Heights nobody puts unsprouted beans in chaulent any more. They sold in stores and cost a fortune. It’s much easier to buy dry beans and do it at home.


  10. purpleslob says:

    Lavender nails!! Thank you!! Too bad you couldn’t grow purple “tails” in your soup! lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! You have such a knack for posing challenges, Melinda! This soup was a challenge I posed to myself, creating a completely green soup. After Passover, I’ll start looking for beans that grow purple tails, dedicated to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. purpleslob says:

        Heehee!! Your welcome!! 😉 You probably did a better job on challenging yourself!! I’m just a purple nut, not a cook!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And I am just a funky cat who lives to meet challenges!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. purpleslob says:

        Yes you are! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I had Progresso Lentil Soup for lunch yesterday. This fresh homemade version is really appealing! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Mel; I hope next time you find time to make a fresh one, and you can always portion it out and freeze for later.


  12. CarolCooks2 says:

    Thank you, Dolly I missed this one…Have linked back to you xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear friend, for linking!


      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        Thank you, Dolly… My pleasure 💕

        Liked by 1 person

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