Evelyn's spicy lentil soup

A fresh and tasty Good Food Matters classic.

Serves:  6                               Prep time: 10 min                             Cooking time 35 - 40 min          


2 tablespoons oil

1 lime or lemon, finely grated rind and the juice

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon tomato puree

2 medium sized carrots, finely chopped

200g Red lentils  

1 red pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

1 litre of hot water

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 level tablespoons vegetable bouillon powder

2 cm piece ginger, finely grated

1 x 400g can chopped, tomatoes

2 tablespoons medium curry powder

1 x 400ml can coconut milk

8 cardamoms, cracked with a rolling pin

Good handful fresh coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion, carrot and red pepper for 10 minutes.

  2. Make a space in the middle and add the ginger, garlic, curry powder, the cardamoms, the lime juice and rind and the tomato puree and stir-fry gently for 2 minutes in the middle Add the lentils and mix everything together.

  3. Add the bouillon powder to the water and add to the pan with the tomatoes, coconut milk and most of the chopped coriander and stir well. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer very gently, with the lid on set at an angle, for 25 minutes.

  4. Take out the cardamoms which will have floated to the top.

  5. Let the soup cool for a bit then liquidize in a blender or serve as a chunky soup. Re heat just before serving.

Top tip! Drop a spoon of yogurt onto the soup and try sprinkling with fresh chopped mint or coriander leaves.

Add another 100g lentils to make it into a substantial dhal curry.

Winter, CurriesAlexandra Kent