Stormy Night Carrot, Cumin and Coriander Soup with Red Lentils and Dukkah

, from Issue #90. March, 2020
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
Stormy Night Carrot, Cumin and Coriander Soup with Red Lentils and Dukkah
Stormy Night Carrot, Cumin and Coriander Soup with Red Lentils and Dukkah

In stormy times there is nothing like a warming bowl of soup to soothe the soul.

Serves: 4-6


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
4 large carrots, 
chopped into ½cm pieces
2 small or 1 large agria potato, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
6 cups vegetable 
or chicken stock
1 cup split red lentils
3 tablespoons runny honey
⅓cup fresh coriander
¼ cup cream or coconut cream plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons purchased dukkah (see below for how to make your own)
sea salt and ground pepper

2 cups walnuts
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons cumin seeds
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
½ cup toasted sesame seeds 
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat and add the onion, celery and carrots. Cover and cook for 10 minutes then add the potatoes, spices, garlic, ginger and the stock. 
Season with salt and pepper then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the lentils and 2 tablespoons of the honey and simmer for a further 25 minutes. 

Add the fresh coriander and blitz with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth then stir in the cream or coconut cream. If you prefer a thinner consistency, just add a little more stock or water. 

To serve: Ladle into bowls and top with a swirl of cream or coconut cream, a drizzle of honey and sprinkling of dukkah. 

Where’s the meat? 
This one is a meat-free zone. 

Work it your way 
To add extra crunch to a purchased dukkah, add a handful each of toasted sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Keep in the freezer so it stays fresh


Preheat oven to 180˚C. 

Place walnuts, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts on a tray and put in the oven for 8-10 minutes, until nuts are lightly roasted. 

Put cumin, coriander, fennel and pepper in a wide pan and dry fry (without oil) for 3-4 minutes until fragrant. 

Put the roasted nuts and seeds in a food processor and pulse briefly. 
Grind the toasted spices, in 2-3 batches, using a mortar and pestle. 
Add the spices, chilli and salt to the nut mixture and and pulse briefly so they are well combined and the nuts are ground into chunks. (I like them to have some texture, not be completely sandy butter!) 

Add the sesame seeds and transfer to an airtight container. You can sprinkle the savoury dukkah on anything that takes your fancy – from lamb to salads, pizza, pasta, dips, eggplant – even soup! Makes 3¾ cups.