Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup Recipe

Last week my dear friend Florence tweeted a link to Nadya Andreeva's Ayurvedic blog Spinach and Yoga* and his recipe for yellow lentil and pumpkin soup It immediately caught my attention.

I love a good lentil soup, but I don't think I've ever thought about pairing their meaty earthiness with the sweet, soft flesh of winter squash. This version was particularly interesting in its use fresh ginger and spices – cumin, coriander, turmeric – and I had almost everything I needed to make it.

I thought I'd be clever and use three different colored lentils; eventually they all turned the same shade of brown.

The little I know about Ayurvedic cuisine is that it is strictly vegetarian, but I took the liberty of using the super fragrant one fish soup I had prepared it the day before, using the bones and head of a roast sea bream purchased from the increasingly foodie-friendly Terroirs d'Avenir sustainably sourced fish stall on the rue du Nil.

Another change I made to the original recipe was in fact inspired by the archive photo which illustrated it: the telltale milky sheen indicated its use coconut milkwhich the recipe itself didn't include, yet I knew it would make the soup even tastier.

Mini vegan food recipe book

I also thought I'd be crafty and use lentils three different colors, green, pink and yellow. They all ended up being the same shade of green-brown, but I'm sure the variety of textures helped make that happen the most exciting soup I've been doing this for a while.

Join the conversation!

Have you ever dabbled in Ayurvedic cuisine? And what was this winter's winning soup recipe?

* Coincidentally, I see that Nadya Andreeva will publish a book this week, entitled Happy belly.

Have you tried this? Share your photos on Instagram!

Please tag your photos with #cnzrecipes. I'll share my favorites!

Pumpkin and lentil soup recipe

Pumpkin and lentil soup recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onionfinely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlicfinely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • a piece of 3 cm (1 inch). gingerpeeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 900 grams (2 pounds) pumpkinseeded, peeled, and diced into 1.5cm (1/2″) pieces (you can substitute another type of winter squash, such as red kuri, acorn, or delicate)
  • 320 grams (1 1/2 cups) Lentils (any color you like or have on hand), soaked for 8 hours or overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 500 ml (2 cups) actionpreferably homemade (vegetable, chicken or fish broth will work)
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) coconut milk
  • fresh mintfinely chopped or fresh coriandercoarsely chopped, to serve
  • chili sauceto serve (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large, thick-bottomed pan. Add the onion, garlic and salt and cook over medium heat until softened, stirring regularly.
  2. Add the ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and fennel seeds and cook for a minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the squash and lentils, pour in the broth and add enough water to cover.
  4. Cover, bring to the boil and skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Cook for 30 minutes, until the pumpkin and lentils are cooked.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk, taste and adjust the seasoning.
  6. Ladle into bowls, garnish with fresh herbs and serve with chili sauce.


Adapted from a prescription by Nadia Andreeva.


Unless otherwise indicated, all recipes are copyright Clotilde Dusoulier.

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