Becky Luigart-Stayner Photo by: Becky Luigart-Stayner

Lentil and Spinach Soup with Roasted Red Pepper and Pomegranate Molasses

Spinach, plus garnishes of roasted red pepper and pomegranate molasses, enrich this satisfying Mediterranean soup with antioxidants, including beta-carotene, anthocyanins, and lutein/zeaxanthin.

Cooking Light MARCH 2006

  • Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 1 cup soup, 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses, and about 1 tablespoon roasted red bell pepper)


  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 4 cups diced Japanese eggplant (about 2)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
  • 4 cups less-sodium beef broth, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced bottled roasted red bell pepper


Place first 5 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Set lentils aside.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Place the eggplant, onion, and thyme in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Drizzle with oil; toss to coat. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup broth; bake 10 minutes. Discard thyme; add eggplant mixture to lentils.

Stir in remaining 3 cups broth and parsley; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add spinach; stir gently until spinach wilts. Stir in salt and pepper. Ladle about 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; drizzle each serving with 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses, and top with about 1 tablespoon roasted red bell pepper.

Wine Note: One wine works well with the earthy, bitter, and sweet flavors in this soup: pinot noir. Good pinot noir demonstrates an earthiness of its own, plus an attractive bitterness and a "sweet spot" of cherry-pomegranate fruitiness. Try Pedroncelli "F. Johnson Vineyard" 2003 from Sonoma County, California ($15). -Karen MacNeil

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 224
  • Calories from fat: 8%
  • Fat: 2g
  • Saturated fat: 0.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.3g
  • Protein: 13.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 40g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
  • Iron: 5.1mg
  • Sodium: 563mg
  • Calcium: 57mg

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Lentil and Spinach Soup with Roasted Red Pepper and Pomegranate Molasses Recipe