Square Food Foundations spiced lentil & vegetable soup

A hearty meal for 6


This is a vegetable soup with spices in it. You could use other vegetables – eg sweet potato, celeriac, swede, parsnip - than the ones I have indicated.

The spices are important; they really do bring depth and sparkle to even quite dull vegetables. But if you don’t have all the spices, just use ones you have or curry powder or paste will do fine as well.

Note: if you buy spices, buy the whole seeds not the powders - and invest in a pestle and mortar. It will become one of your favourite kitchen friends.


2 sticks celery
2 carrots
1 large white onion
300g butternut squash or similar
2 potatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
½  tsp chilli powder or flakes
1 tsp cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, ground
1tsp turmeric powder or fresh turmeric root grated
3 tsp freshly grated ginger
100g red lentils
1 tin coconut milk (optional but lovely)
Groundnut oil
Large bunch freshly chopped coriander
2tsp salt


Dice all the vegetables separately quite small – 1cm

Fry the celery carrot onion & celery until soft & caramelised. This can take 15-20 minutes but it’s worth it

Add the garlic and spices & cook for a few minutes longer, stirring well

Now add the potatoes, squash, lentils, coconut milk, 500ml water (approx.) & the salt and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer gently for 1 hour or until all the vegetables and lentils are soft. You may need to add a little more water. If so adjust the seasoning accordingly

Stir in the chopped coriander just before serving.