Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup with Herb Butter

When I am planning recipes to share it is my family who give me the best feedback. With varying likes and dislikes if a dish gets a positive reaction from all I know I have the green light. My cooking and recipes are largely influenced by seasonal produce and the type of food we want to eat at different times of the year. With that in mind, I have noticed a pivot in recent weeks towards more warming meals as the colder (and wet!) days arrive. Soups, casseroles, and meals with a little extra spice are all featured on our table.

Today I am sharing a recipe from the Vegetable chapter of my latest cookbook, The Homemade Table. The book is divided into two parts. The first part – Seasonal Recipes – contains chapters for the main meals of the day. Including, Breakfasts & Drinks, Vegetables, Dinner, and Baking & Desserts. Each of these chapters is arranged into seasons so you can look up recipes that are suitable for the current season and accompanying produce.

In the second half of the book, I share my extensive knowledge of making homemade staples such as sourdough bread, preserves, ferments, and cultured dairy products. In these chapters, I include my ‘master recipes’ for sourdough bread, multi-purpose dough, pickles, and sauerkraut, with multiple variations for each. Drawing on 20 years of teaching experience, my aim is to simplify these more complex techniques for the home kitchen.

The Homemade Table is a complete guide to home cooking, one that you can return to again and again for planning meals or to master a new cooking technique. It is a book that I hope will find a place in your kitchen and become well-used, with graciously dog-eared pages and hand-written notes in the margin.

Order The Homemade Table

More Soup recipes on Homegrown Kitchen

Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup with Herb Butter

This soup makes a large quantity which can be eaten over a few days or frozen into handy meal portions. The flavoured butter is optional but it really is what makes this soup adding an extra “mmm” factor to the taste. If you are pressed for time then a simple drizzle of olive oil and scattering of chopped parsley would suffice. 
Servings 8
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes


  • 1 ½ cups (300g) split red lentils
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek or onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • large wedge of pumpkin, about 400g, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of chilli flakes, optional
  • 6 cups (1.5 litres) water or vegetable stock
  • about 1 tsp salt
  • lemon wedges to serve

Herb Butter

  • 50 g soft butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • small handful coriander or parsley, finely chopped
  • zest of ½ a lemon
  • pinch of salt


  • I like to pre-soak the split lentils for 2-3 hours in a bowl of water - this helps improve the digestion of legumes. You can skip this step if time is short. Either way, rinse the lentils thoroughly in a sieve until the water runs clear.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the leek/onion, carrot and celery. Sauté for 8 minutes until softened. Add the pumpkin and spices and mingle with the other vegetables for 2 more minutes. Add the lentils and stock/water and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer for 25-30 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are soft.
  • Remove the soup from the heat and puree with a stick blender. Add salt to taste (be generous) and reheat. Adjust consistency with extra hot water if needed - aim for a not too runny, cling to the spoon, consistency.
  • To make the flavoured butter place all the ingredients into a bowl and mash together with a fork.
  • Serve the hot soup with 1-2 teaspoons of Herb Butter added to each bowl and let it melt into the soup. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and enjoy.

*Recipe extracted from my latest cookbook, The Homemade Table. 

Join the Conversation

  1. This soup is delicious and thumbs up received from my 3 year old and very fussy 6 year old! I left out smoked paprika as only had hot, and added preserved lemon as none fresh. It was so creamy even without the herbed butter. A great vegetable/protein meal. Thank you!

    1. Wonderful Amber, I am so glad you could use what you had on hand to suit your tastes. I agree, it is lovely and creamy without the butter, but it does add a little something extra too 🙂
      Enjoy, Nicola

  2. An absolutely delicious soup! Thank you.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to let me know. I am so glad you made it 🙂

  3. Suzi Johnson says:

    Loved the soup – nice and thick too. I used potato masher to break up vegetables and it worked well. Look forward to another bowl today … thanks for recipe.

    1. That is great Suzi, I am glad you enjoyed it. It is a simple soup and goes a long way for eating over a few days.

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