Pic of Dal and squash soup

Dal and squash soup

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Dal and squash soup

Starter Serves 3 25 min
This cheap, comforting and healthy vegan soup can be made in under half an hour. Try with a topping of sliced onions fried in hot oil with a clove of garlic and sliced chilli. If you prefer, the squash can be roasted and left in chunks, gently stirred into the blitzed lentil dal as you reheat it to serve.

Cook's notes

Lentils toughen and take longer to cook if salt is added at the start, so season to taste at the end.


  • oil for frying
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (leave the seeds in for more heat, or deseed for less)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 225g red lentils, rinsed well
  • ½ large or 1 small squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 5 min
Cooking time: 20 min
  • Step 1

    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Gently fry the onion for 10 minutes, stirring often, until softened.
  • Step 2

    Add the garlic and ginger and chilli. Stir for 1 minute.
  • Step 3

    Add the dried spices, lentils and 1½ litres of water. Bring to the boil then turn down to simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Step 4

    Stir in the squash and cook until everything is soft (about 15 minutes).
  • Step 5

    Blend until smooth.
  • Step 6

    Gently reheat, season to taste and stir in the coriander.

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