Greek Lentil Soup (Fakkes)

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This soup is another “familiar” dish to all Greek homes. Some eat it almost every week and others at the very least during the Great Lent.

It’s a meatless soup and for those who fast to the nth degree and avoid oil during Lent, this soup still holds up well using just water.

I like this soup for Fridays. I don’t have to fast on Fridays and nor am ultra-religious but I do like the “cleansing” one does on Fridays. Try it out…avoid meat for a day and be creative. You’ll find comfort in simpler foods, different foods and perhaps even expand and develop an affinity for a new food.

Lentil Soup in Greek is called Fakkes‚ (pronounced fah-KESS) and as kids, cousins, myself and other Greek kids would laugh because it always sounded like the elders were swearing!

I’ve gotten beyond that sillyness (actually I’m giggling again) and I do love this soup. Once again, I use a pressure cooker to speed up the cooking process for this soup.

Greek lentil soup becomes a meal when you pair it with bread, black olives and some pickled peppers and veggies. I think I’ll make it again this Friday!

For my Greek Lentil Soup (Φακές) recipe please buy my Everything Mediterranean cookbook.


© 2007 – 2014,
Peter Minakis

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21 Comments for “Greek Lentil Soup (Fakkes)”



Hi Peter,
Looks like a GREAT soup – one that my Italian husband will love. He is from Southern Italian descent and loves lentils, beans and the like. I find it hard to find good recipes (I don’t want to ask my mother-in-law..) and have made a lot from your blog – he has loved everything. One question though, how would I make this without a pressure cooker??
Thanks!!!! Kimberley in T.O.

Peter M


Kimberley…now you tell me you make lots of stuff from my blog? lol

I’m delighted but I’d like to hear feeback, be it here in the comments section or simply email me.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, a large pot works fine. You have to simmer the lentils (and all) for about 2 hours.

My advice, ask hubby to buy you a pressure cooker, they are safe and a time-saver!



Hi Peter,
Thanks! I’m newlywed (1 month today!) and we don’t have our computer set up yet in our house, so I’m printing off recipes at work – and trying them mostly on weekends. The gigantes sto fourno (served w baked halibut) and the giouvesti with veal were BIG hits with him and I loved the seared salmon on spinach.
I’ll keep you posted…and start hinting for a pressure cooker!

Peter M


Kim, Congrats on your recent nuptials and thanks for trying out the dishes…they are some of my faves too!



Peter, this looks good, but lentils are something I can’t quite like that much. I’ve tried several recipes and I’ve even recently bookmarked another to try. I do so hate to give up on a food!



Hi Peter, another great soup of yours. I am planning to post my version of FAK-hes… soon but before that I have a Cypriot chick pea soup called hoummous, so I’ll post it tomorrow, maybe you’ll try it one Friday.



I know nothing about Greek cuisine but it sure does look delicious! This soup looks amazing and healthy, great pictures. I always pressure cook soups also I think it’s the best way. :)

Laurie Constantino


Fakes are so good! We always have them with a drizzle of olive oil on top and a dash of vinegar. MMMM. (I think you are just torturing me using all that smoked paprika that you know I can’t get!)



Hola Peter!
It looks so similar to our Stew lentils! I totally agree with the cleansing thing! Do you know that if you add boiled rice to the lentils your body will be able to assimilate the iron they have… I always put a bowl of boiled rice aside.

Costas the Greek


Holy Fah-kes! Thanks, Peter. I grew up eating fah-kes a few times a month and — as what happens to us when we’re force-fed certain foods at a young age — i got sick of them pretty quickly. haven’t really had the soup in a long time. But you’re photos make it look appealing again.

I remember a few things: 1) we used to put a little spritz of white wine vinegar in the soup bowl, to give it a little tangy zip, and 2) one way my mom used to get me to eat fah-kes is to chop up little pieces of hot dog into it! i look back on that now, and think: gross!!! I’m glad your recipe didn’t include hot dogs!




Hi Peter!

Love the fakes! My boyfriend’s mother sent some lentils over for me when he returned from Greece. The lentils here in the UK are definitely not the same … somehow very hard. Anyway, I made it on Monday and it was loved by all! I made a huge pressure cooker full (there are only 3 of us with huge appetites obviously) and it was still not enough! I have made fakes before but it has never tasted this good! Thanks for the recipe!



It’s as if you read my mind, Peter. Lentil soup was on the menu this weekend. My metera’s version was so boring, your’s looks much more interesting.



This is a favorite soup in our home. With the first “real feel” day of winter in our area, sounds like a fine time to make it for dinner. Thank you so much for sharing.

Love, love, love this soup!