- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 whole garlic cloves
- About 1cm piece of fresh ginger
- 2 whole red chillies (optional)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 2 onions, finely diced
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 200g dried brown lentils, rinsed well
- 450g pumpkin or winter squash
- 400g can coconut milk
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp white sugar
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, chillies, cinnamon and cloves. Fry for 30 seconds, then add the onions and celery. Reduce the heat and fry for 5 minutes, stirring.
- Add the tomato purée and the lentils and stir well. Add 1 litre water and simmer rapidly for 10 minutes, skimming any froth from the surface. Reduce the heat to very low and cook for 1 hour or until the lentils are really tender. Season, remove from the heat and discard the garlic, ginger and spices. For a thicker soup, blitz half with a stick blender.
- Meanwhile, peel, deseed and dice the pumpkin. Put in a pan with the coconut milk, nutmeg, sugar and some salt. Simmer and cook for 45 minutes, until the pumpkin is falling apart. Purée or mash, then season.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with the pumpkin purée.