Fragrant Spiced Indian Lentil and Vegetable Soup

, from Issue #97. May, 2021
Photography by Josh Griggs.
Fragrant Spiced Indian Lentil and Vegetable Soup

This hearty, flavour-packed soup is fragrant with cumin, turmeric, ginger, garam masala and a hint of chilli.

Serves: 6


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons each curry powder and ground turmeric
1 teaspoon each cumin seeds and yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon each ground garam masala and chilli flakes
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons honey
1 brown onion,finely chopped
800 grams Beauregard kūmara, peeled, chopped into 2cm pieces
1 large carrot, peeled, diced
1 cup red lentils
400-gram tin crushed Italian tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock or water
sea salt and ground pepper


Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan and add all the ingredients down to and including the honey. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the onion, kūmara and carrot and stir until they are well coated.

Add the lentils, tomatoes and stock, season generously and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, with the lid slightly ajar and stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. Season to taste. Lightly crush some of the vegetables against the side of the saucepan to give a rough-textured soup. If you want a thinner consistency, add a little extra hot stock.

Ladle into bowls and add your garnishes of choice.

Cook's note: We served our soup with a spoonful of yoghurt, coriander, sliced green chilli and toasted cumin seeds. Pass lemon wedges to squeeze over and naan or roti to dunk.