Turmeric and Lentil Soup

Turmeric and Lentil Soup

So the last month has been a bit mad for me as I’ve been finishing my cookbook before we start shooting it on Monday, which is so exciting! In order to get it finished though I’ve been recipe testing hundreds of recipes over the last few weeks and I have to admit that I’m now pretty full! All the recipes have been so unbelievably delicious and I’m so excited to share them all with you in the book, but I think my stomach definitely wants a few days of eating just three meals a day, not eight! As I go back to three meals a day I’ve been really craving soup, probably because it’s light and feels so energising. To begin with I was making lots of my favourite roasted tomato and red pepper soup but then I decided that I wanted something even more warming and nourishing, which is how I created this recipe. This turmeric and lentil soup is just amazing, it’s the most comforting soup ever. The lentils, carrots and coconut milk together make it so thick and creamy, while the turmeric, garlic, mustard seeds and cumin give it such a deep, rich flavour so every spoonful really bursts with delicious goodness. I love serving it topped with sautéed cannellini beans and mushrooms, as these make it even more flavoursome, plus they add texture to the smooth soup and make it much heartier, so it feels like more of a meal.

Serves 2

– 1 and a 1/2 cups of water (300ml)

– 1/4 a cup of split red lentils (50g)

– 6 carrots (700g)

– 6 tablespoon of coconut milk

– 2 tablespoons of olive oil

– 3 cloves of garlic

– 1 tablespoon of mixed herbs (I use herbs de provence)

– 1 teaspoons of turmeric

– 1 teaspoons of cumin

– 1 teaspoons of mustard seeds

– salt and pepper

For the beans:

– 1 can of cannellini beans beans (400g)

– a dozen chestnut mushrooms

– 2 cloves garlic

– 1 tablespoon of dried herbs

Pre-heat the oven to 180C

Then peel the carrots and shop them into slices, place the slices on a baking tray with some olive oil, salt, pepper and mixed herbs. Peel the three garlic cubes and add these to the tray too. Now place the tray in the oven and allow the carrots to cook for about twenty-five minutes, until they’re nice and soft.

While the carrots cook make the lentils, simple place them in a pan of boiling water and allow them to boil for about ten minutes, then let them simmer for ten minutes until they’re totally soft.

Just before the carrots and lentils finish cooking, place the olive oil in a frying pan with the turmeric, cumin and mustard seeds and let them cook until the mustard seeds start popping.

Place the cooked carrots and garlic in a blender with the lentils and the fried herbs, then add the coconut milk and water and blend until smooth and creamy.

Then place the blended soup in a pan to warm while you make your beans and mushrooms.

Finally drain your beans and slice your mushrooms into thin pieces, place these in the frying pan that you used to fry the herbs – this means that the mushrooms and beans will soak up the leftover deliciousness from the pan! Then add two crushed cloves of garlic, a sprinkling of dried herbs and some olive oil and sauté them for about three to four minutes, until the mushrooms turn slightly brown.

Pour your soup into bowls and add the mushrooms and beans onto, then enjoy!


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  • Emmaline

    This looks amazing! Do you think I can make it in advance and freeze it? If so that would be great. :)

  • Maria

    Hi, I love your recipes but I can’t print them!! When I try I the print preview only brings up part of the page … can you help please?

  • ellawoodward

    Hi I’m sorry, I don’t know why this would happen. You may be best screen shotting the bit you need and printing that.

  • Dora

    Hi Ella I’m your big fan and I love your recipes. The soup is delicious I’ve added fennel seeds too and some soy sauce as it was a bit blant for me. Please remember to mention that we must wash lentils (and rice) before cooking.
    Kindest regards.
    Dora x

  • ladieswhoimpress

    A wonderfully nourishing soup! It’s just that split red lentils only took 4 minutes not 20 to cook in boiling water and I also fried some onion with the spices to add some flavour, which worked out really well. Pumpkin seeds can be quickly toasted in the still warm oven. It’s a great autumnal dish!

  • Jess

    Hi Ella, is it possible to boil the carrots instead of baking? I don’t have an oven in my student halls :(

  • ellawoodward

    Baking really brings out the flavour so I would recommend doing that if you can but boiling would work

    • Jess

      Thanks! I made your carrot ginger and coconut soup and loved it

  • Crisarlin Vazquez

    I made this soup last night. As all your recipes, this one was wonderful. I used black beans instead the cannellini.

  • ellawoodward

    Yum! So glad you enjoyed it, and that it also worked with black beans :) Ella x

  • Georgie

    Hi Ella,
    I love you recipes and I am so grateful to have found them! I love the look of this soup and I love cooking with coconut milk/cream. I was just wondering if you knew how healthy it is to cook with regularly? When I hear ‘cream/milk’ I think ‘cholesterol’ a little bit. Are coconut creams and milks different to the normal creams which I try not to cook with too much? Thanks so much!

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Georgie, I’m glad you asked as yes there’s a huge difference between conventional dairy creams and milks and coconut cream/milk. There’s a post on fats I recently did where I talk about the difference between the fats in coconut and why they’re actually great for you – have a read, as you shouldn’t be worried about the healthiness of coconut products :) Hope it helps, Ella x

  • Milena

    Hey Ella,
    again another delicious soup with great ingredients! I love your way of spicings soups, it adds great taste.
    Due to a lack of lentils I used a medium-sized sweet potato which I baked together with the carrots in the oven and it tasted amazing.
    Thank you for sharing all these wonderful recipies, they are very inspiring:)

  • ellawoodward

    That sounds delicious!

  • Adriane

    Where do you find your wooden spoon?

  • Lorraine Duffin

    Omg I just made this, AMAZING. And UBER excited, just pre-paid for your cook book on Amazon. Love your work :) Feeling excited about eating cleaning and ditching the refined sugar :) Happy new year Ella, look forward to seeing more of your work

  • ellawoodward

    It’s from Anthropologie

  • ellawoodward

    Happy new year too! So pleased you love the soup x

  • Sylviane Sissi Santi

    very good. made it with less garlic and added a bit of paprika. thanks from San Marino (Italy)

  • isabel Tripp

    It looks like you have also added pumpkin seeds. Did you toast them first? I think I will try that.

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Isabel, no I didn’t toast them. They’re a great addition to sprinkle on top. X

    • isabel Tripp

      I made this soup today, it was delicious! I did toast the pumpkin seeds and it worked really well. However I only noticed the seeds in the picture, it’s a shame you didn’t mention them in the recipe. Anyway, delicious!

  • Elishea

    Hi Ella,
    Your food is so amazing, it’s brought me back into the kitchen after many years of not ‘cooking’, but I do have a question. I’m visiting my parents and I’m desparately trying to get them to eat better ie my dad had a heart attack on Thanksgiving 2012 so really want to show them how great healthy food can taste. Unfortunately, my mom is wicked allergic to coconut. What can I substitute for coconut milk in your winter recipes?
    You are an inspiration~

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Elishea, so glad to hear that you are back into healthy cooking again. I would recommend using cashew milk as an alternative. Have a lovely day! X

  • Hayley Magnus

    I looooooved the soup! so so yummy, thanks

  • laura

    Love sound of this and since weather gone cold again think ill make it ☺ 2 questions can u freeze it an is it coconut milk from a tin?

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Laura, yes you can freeze it and I use organic coconut milk from a tin! You can buy it in most health food stores! X

  • Clair Routledge

    Made this last night; really enjoyed it except for the massive amount of garlic – feel quite sick this morning from the taste in my mouth :-( Will definitely make it again but with a lot less garlic next time.

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Clair, you can always use less garlic depending on your personal preference. Glad you enjoyed it anyway and I hope you love the other recipes. Have a lovely day, Ella x

  • Katie Mills

    Hey Ella – love this recipe! As a runner this is jam packed full of ingredients that assist performance and especially recovery – tumeric is so great with over 24 anti-inflammatory compounds and I try and get as much in as possible! I’ve been making a similar soup for a while now but love your addition of the cannelini beans on the top :)

  • Juliet

    Hi – I made this tonight for the first time and it was lovely, rather an unusual combination of flavours (at least for me) but very creamy and satisfying.

    I do seem to be quite prone to accidents with your soups though! Yesterday I discovered (while cooking your potato and beetroot soup) that my little blender is not watertight (I have a very white kitchen so this was quite amusing!) and today, as I turned my back to get some bowls while the soup warmed in a pan, it started to spit, rather like a volcano erupting! Fortunately I have cleaned it up quickly and I don’t think my boyfriend has noticed what I did to his kitchen. What a pity he had just cleaned it as well! 😉

  • Lisa Whitehouse

    Just made some for lunch, it was absolutely amazing! Due to give birth any day so something nice and easy to eat like soup is perfect!

  • RedRockMojito

    Not a huge fan of mushrooms here; is there a substitute for them or has anyone tried it without mushrooms? Thanks!

    • ellawoodward

      Sadly I haven’t tried this recipe with a mushroom alternative before. You could try using aubergine slices instead but I’m not too sure how it would turn out. Hope it’s delicious x

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Meta, make sure you use a generous amount of olive oil and cook them on the hob on a high heat. Keep heating them until it starts to pop, this may take a few minutes so be patient. If you added them to the potato mixture before popping I’m sure this would still taste delicious! X

  • ellawoodward

    Yes I imagine that should work really well! X

  • ellawoodward

    I use organic canned coconut milk from a health food store. Organic is best to avoid the added sugar and additives x

  • Myra

    Ella – First, I love your site and tumeric and lentil soup. I have been
    using HYDROPONICS from a company called http://www.planetponics.com that allows
    me to grow the herbs, vegetables & grains for some of your recipes. I
    really enjoyed the value and idea this company was striving for. Thought I
    would share it for others. You can GROW ALL YEAR AND IN ANY CLIMATE. GROW FOOD,
    HERBS OR FLOWERS. No soil, no mess, self-watering hydroponics. Fresh food
    faster than a traditional soil method.

  • Melanie Botha

    Love the idea of adding beans to the soup to give adding protein and yumminess

  • ellawoodward

    I usually use ground spices. Hope you love lots of the recipes x