Moroccan lentil soup

Thursday soup for hungry karma yogis and after class is now a fixture at Viveka Gardens. It’s a joy to prepare using seasonal Devon veg: we’ve had green lentil, tomato and rosemary; tofu, miso and noodles; Indian yellow split pea; dried fava and herbes de Provence, for example. This one was inspired by student Ness bringing back spices from Morocco. In this parsnip, swede and purple sprouting broccoli were used, happening to give a range of colour. Use whatever veg are available. Carrots, courgettes and pepper bring more sweetness (along with the tomatoes) to go nicely with the spices, especially if you have family with untrained tastebuds.

This is quick and easy using red lentils that do not need soaking.

Ingredients feeds 4 -6

  • 2 celery sticks cut into 1cm piece
  • 2 parsnips and half a swede/1 large sweet potato cut into 1cm pieces
  • a handful of purple sprouting broccoli
  • 3 tablespoons of organic rapeseed oil (for instance)
  • 2 heaped tsp Moroccan ras-el hanout or subsitute equal parts paprika (I use smoked), coriander, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, ground cloves, and a pinch ofnutmeg OR just ground coriander
  • 1 more tsp ground cumin
  • 200g red lentils, rinsed
  • 350g of skinned chopped tomatoes or a good quality tin
  • a kettle full of boiling water (1.5L)
  • 1 tsp milled black pepper
  • 1/2tsp sea salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • handful of fresh roughly chopped coriander is nice


  1. in a large pan lightly fry the celery in the oil and add the spices, stirring for a minute or so
  2. add the other chopped veg and stir so coated in the spices
  3.  add the lentils and stir in, working fast so they don’t stick too much
  4. add the tomatoes and stir in
  5. add the water and pepper, and allow the whole to lightly boil for 5 minutes
  6. turn down the heat and put on a lid, allowing to more lightly boil for 20 minutes
  7. add the salt and turn off the heat
  8. add the lemon juice and coriander and stir in
  9. serve with a splash of olive oil on top and extra lemon juice, maybe a sprinkle of ground cumin