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+ servings

Ecuadorian Menestra

Course Soup
Cuisine Latin American
Keyword lentils, soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 259 kcal


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 pepper diced
  • 3 medium tomatoes diced
  • 7 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 pound lentils rinsed and drained


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.

  2. Make a refrito by adding onion, pepper, tomato, garlic, cumin, salt, and half the cilantro. Cook until all ingredients have softened, about 3-4 minutes.

  3. ring heat to high and add the water, bringing to a boil. Add lentils and reduce heat to low, cover partially and cook until the lentils are tender.

  4. Remove from heat and add remaining cilantro as a garnish.

Recipe Notes

If you like things spicy you may want to add a bit of cayenne pepper to the dish along with the cumin. However, in Ecuador aji (hot sauce) is served at the table as a condiment so Ecuadorians can each add spice to their own liking.

Nutrition Facts
Ecuadorian Menestra
Amount Per Serving
Calories 259 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Sodium 598mg26%
Potassium 608mg17%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 17g71%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 140IU3%
Vitamin C 5.9mg7%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 4.7mg26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.