Serves 4

3 onions - 1 for the soup and 2 for the garnish
1 Tbs butter
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tbs fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 tsp palm or brown sugar
200g red lentils
1 1/2 litres water
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp nutmeg, grated
3 lemons - 2 zested and juiced, one to serve
250g pumpkin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs vegetable oil
Roti and coriander to serve
Yoghurt if desired

1 Peel and slice the onions. Set two of them aside. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add one onion. Stir and add 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped with the ginger, sugar and the lentils.

2 Pour over 1 1/2 litres of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Stir in the chilli, turmeric and nutmeg with the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Cook for approximately 30 minutes.


3 In a second saucepan, boil the chunks of peeled pumpkin until soft, then drain and mash them roughly. Add to the lentils and stir well. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

4 Heat the vegetable oil in a fry pan then add the remaining onion and garlic. Fry until completely soft and golden. Add the remaining lemon zest and juice, continue cooking until deep brown.

5 Serve the soup in warm bowls with the onions on top, yoghurt if desired, a generous amount of coriander and roti or naan bread on the side.