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Pumpkin and lentil soup

  • 30 minutes
  • 40 minutes
  • 4-5
Pumpkin and lentil soup

This healthy soup is wonderful with toasted, chunky-cut bread spread with hummus.


  • 1 teaspoon tamarind pump
  • 1½ cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 300 grams pumpkin, peeled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 gram can chopped tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 3 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • ½-1 lime or lemon, juiced
  • 4 whole cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and sliced


  1. Place the tamarind in ½ cup of warm water for 30 minutes to soften. Mash well, sieve if wished to remove any stringy bits and set the thick pulp aside.
  2. Bring 5-6 cups of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the lentils, pumpkin, salt, tomatoes, onion, minced garlic, ginger, chillies and curry powder. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the tamarind pump and lime or lemon juice to the lentil mixture and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and mash with a potato masher to form a thick porridge-like soup. Season with ground black pepper and extra salt if wished.
  5. Quickly pan fry the sliced garlic in a dash of oil or butter. Serve the soup garnished with the pan-fried garlic and chopped fresh herbs, such as coriander or parsley if wished.

Cooks Tips

- Use kumara in place of pumpkin. Carrots can be used but the soup will not be as porridge-like. - Replace fresh chillies with ½ teaspoon chilli powder. - Tamarind will give the soup a lovely sweet/sharp/sour balance. If you don't have any, leave it out and add a touch more lime or lemon juice.

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