If you’re feeling sniffly or it’s a chilly day, pack yourself a serving of this fiery, orange soup. It’s delicious with a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds on top. If you’re short of time there’s no need to blend – just keep it chunky.

Serves 4


  • 1 tbsp coconut or rapeseed oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2½cm piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 400g pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into cubes
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1½ litres vegetable stock
  • 100g dried red lentils
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pumpkin seeds, for sprinkling


  1. Heat the oil over a medium heat, then add the garlic, ginger, pumpkin and onion. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened.
  2. Add the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Stir well, then pour in the stock and lentils. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, add the pepper and chilli, and stir in the milk. Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and whizz until smooth. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper.

Time to eat…

Divide the soup among four freezer-proof containers, and freeze. Defrost overnight in the fridge. Reheat a portion before you go to work and transfer to a vacuum food flask – or reheat it at work. Pack the pumpkin seeds to take with you, if using.

Packed with…

Turmeric, the bright yellow spice commonly used in Indian cookery, contains the potent compound curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. If you can find the fresh root, that’s even better: use 1cm, peeled and grated.

This recipe is extracted from Packed by Becky Alexander and Michelle Lake (Nourish Books, £12.99). Photography: Haarala Hamilton

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