Lemon and coconut lentil soup


Bring some brightness to your winter table with a squeeze of sunny lemon. Not only do these vibrant fruits add zest and freshness to this delicious dish, but a welcome dose of vitamin C, too. This warming lemon lentil soup, by Sue Quinn, makes a delicious addition to any table during the colder months.


  • 1 cauliflower, florets
  • 3 tbsp oil of choice
  • 1 ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 small red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1.5l chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g red split lentils, rinsed well
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • Juice of 2 lemons, plus extra to taste
  • Sea salt flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C/425°F/
gas mark 7. Toss the cauliflower with one tbsp of the oil, half a tbsp of the cumin and a generous sprinkling of salt. Roast for 25 minutes, or until tender and charred at the edges.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large pan over a medium-low heat, add the onion and cook gently for ten minutes until soft and golden. Stir in the garlic, spices, chilli and ginger. Fry for a few minutes more, until the mustard seeds start to pop and the pan smells fragrant – but be careful the spices don’t burn.
  3. Add the lentils, stirring them around in the spiced oil, then pour in the stock. Simmer for ten minutes, scooping off any residue that rises to the top. Add the coconut milk
 and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking, until the lentils have collapsed to make a thick 
soup. Add more water to achieve the consistency you like.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice. Add more if you like – the lemony tang should shine through. Add salt to taste.
  5. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with the roasted cauliflower on top.