Spicy Tomato, Pumpkin and Dahl Soup

, from Issue #25. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Spicy Tomato, Pumpkin and Dahl Soup

Serves: 4-6


2 tablespoons olive oil
knob of butter
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon and turmeric
1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 x 400 gram tin crushed Italian tomatoes
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup split orange lentils
800 grams pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2 cm pieces

To serve
sour cream
ground cinnamon


Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions, carrot, garlic, ginger and all the spices. Season, cover and cook gently until the onion is very soft. Add a splash of water if the pan is too dry. Stir in the tomatoes, stock, salt, lentils and pumpkin. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. Lightly crush some of the pumpkin against the side of the saucepan to give a rough textured soup.

To serve: Ladle the soup into warm bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

Vegetable Stock: heat a little oil in a large pot and add a chopped onion, leek and carrot, a stick of celery, a tomato, a few mushrooms and 2 cloves of garlic. Toss, cover and sweat the vegetables over a low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so as not to let them scorch. Add 2 1⁄2 litres of water, 4 peppercorns, a few parsley stalks and a bay leaf. Bring slowly to the boil, skimming as necessary and simmer for 2-3 hours.

Cool and strain, pressing down on the vegetables to extract maximum flavour. Refrigerate for 2-3 days or freeze.