Recipe: Hot lentil soup

Try out this nourishing yet hearty soup recipe to warm you and loved ones up, perfect for a cozy night in as we approach cooler weather.


250g or 1 cup red lentils, rinsed 

2 celery leaves 

1 tsp mustard seeds 

1 tbsp ground coriander 

1 tbsp ground cumin 

1/2 tsp ground fenugreek

pinch of salt

1 tbsp olive oil 

2 tbsp grated ginger

3 green or red chillies deseeded and finely chopped

4 tomatoes, chopped 

juice of 1/2 lemon

4 tsp chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley


Step 1.

Place the rinsed lentils and celery in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the lentils by 3cm. Bring to boil over medium heat then simmer gently for 20–30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Remove the celery. Drain the lentils, reserving 250ml of the cooking water. 

Step 2.

Place the mustard seeds, coriander, cumin, fenugreek and salt in a mortar, or in a small food processor, and grind finely. 

Step 3.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and add the ground spices. Leave for only a minute or two until the spices begin to give off their aroma, then add the ginger, chilli and tomato. Saute well until the tomatoes are well cooked, then add the reserved cooking water and simmer for about 6 minutes.

Step 4.

Add the cooked lentils and salt to taste, stirring well. Just before serving, add the lemon juice and the parsley and mix well.

 Serves 4.

Manual of Healthy Longevity and Wellbeing

This is an edited extract from Manual of Healthy Longevity and Wellbeing by Luigi Fontana MD, PHD, published by Hardie Grant Books.