The gently curried flavour in this soup is very satisfying, especially with the rich, earthy comfort of roasted root vegetables and lentils. You might think about skipping the roasting step, but it adds an intensity of flavour and caramelised tones that you can’t get by just simmering the vegetables. My family likes this with a dollop of yoghurt and a squeeze of lemon, but it is perfectly delicious as is.
3 zucchinis, cut into 2cm dice
2 onions, finely diced
1 leek, cut into 2cm rounds
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large turnip, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
2 parsnips, peeled, cored and cut into 2cm dice
2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
80ml extra-virgin olive oil
2½ tsp curry powder
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp salt flakes
½ tsp ground black or white pepper
250g small black or green lentils
1½ litres hot chicken stock
1. Preheat your oven to 170C fan-forced (190C conventional).
2. Place the zucchini, onion, leek and garlic in a roasting tray so the vegetables are quite snug. In another tray, do the same with the turnip, carrot, parsnip and potato. Divide the oil, spices, salt and pepper evenly, then toss through each tray and roast for 45 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put the lentils in a saucepan of cold water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then drain.
4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the lentils and the contents of the tray with the zucchini, onion, leek and garlic, along with any juices and spices. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring.
5. Add the root vegetables from the other tray, plus any juices and spices, and stir through. Add the chicken stock along with 1½ litres of hot water and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
6. Once cooked, remove a third of the soup and blitz in a blender, then add back to the soup. Check the seasoning and serve.