Esau soup

There is an ancient legend that two brothers were arguing over something important (a wife, land, or riches), and one of them made this soup.

The other brother thought it was so delicious that he happily traded his wife/land/riches for a pot of Esau soup.

I can kind of see why! This is a most delicious bowl of comfort.


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups dry red lentils
  • 1 cup dry brown rice
  • 6 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh, chopped herbs (basil, rosemary, oregano, green onions, whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until it gets soft and starts to brown.

Add the garlic, coriander, carrots, and celery, and mix well. Cook for a couple more minutes to start to wake up all the flavors.

Next, mix in the dry lentils and rice, stirring well to coat each grain in flavorful loveliness.

Before it starts to stick, add the water, crushed tomatoes, fresh herbs, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for about an hour, or until the rice is tender. Stir every 10-15 minutes or so.

Finally, add the chopped spinach, turn the heat off, and give it a good stir. Serve your Esau soup hot in your most comforting bowl. Enjoy the love!


Today’s inspiration comes from the leader of my meditation group this morning:


Nothing is under control.

And you’re not in charge.”

For me, this insight brought a huge feeling of relief.

I can let go of trying to make the day go in any particular way.

I can flow with it and accept the beauty of how things end up.

May your day be relaxing and filled with ease.

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

2 responses to “Esau soup”

  1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    One of my new favorite comfort foods!!

  2. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Facebook comment from Lucas: Yummy

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