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50 g/2 oz butter
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder or paste
1 small turnip, diced
1 parsnip, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 potato, diced
85 g/3 oz orange lentils (masoor dal)
1 litre/1 pints vegetable stock or water
Salt and pepper

To garnish

Chopped fresh coriander (or parsley and a pinch of ground coriander)
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
Thick yogurt stirred with mint or grated cucumber
Toasted grated coconut
Toasted flaked almonds
Chopped raw onion and apple dressed with lemon juice
Chopped tomato spiked with a little chilli


Serves: 5


1.Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and fry until it is lightly caramelized. Stir in the curry powder or paste. Add the rest of the vegetables and the lentils, along with the stock or water. Bring to the boil, cover loosely, turn down the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables and lentils are perfectly tender.

2. Tip half the soup into a food processor or liquidizer and blend to a puree. Return to the saucepan, taste and adjust the seasoning and reheat until boiling.

3. Serve hot, sprinkled with coriander and a ring or two of green chilli. Serve the remaining garnishes in small bowls, to be stirred into this thick soup, or spooned on top. Accompany with any of the Indian breads: naan, paratha, chappati.

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