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Soup for the soul

Food writer, cook, food stylist and presenter Jo Pratt knows a thing or two about creating tasty dishes. She grew up not far from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire and recently helped launch  The Gorgeous Kitchen, a restaurant serving global cuisine made with British-grown produce at Heathrow’s Terminal 2.

To warm you up this winter, we’ve picked out a delicious recipe from her latest book, The Flexible Vegetarian.

Carrot, coconut and cardamom soup

This wonderful soup is packed with aromatic spicy flavour and is perfect for separating into portions for your freezer. You’ll be glad of it when all you want is an instant, comforting, healthy lunch.

Time taken 40 minutes / Serves 6

10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

½ tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp dried chilli flakes

2 tbsp olive oil

750g/1 lb 10 oz carrots, washed and coarsely grated

1 stick celery, finely sliced

15g/½ oz piece ginger, peeled and grated

125g/4½ oz split red lentils

2 x 400ml/14 fl oz tins coconut milk

700ml/1¼ pints/2¾ cups hot vegetable stock

flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

small handful coriander (cilantro) leaves,

To serve

coconut flakes, lightly toasted, to serve


Split open the cardamom pods and crush the seeds in a pestle and mortar or simply with the flat of a large knife.

Heat a large saucepan and then add the crushed cardamom seeds, cumin seeds and chilli flakes. Dry fry for a minute or so until they release their aroma.

Add the oil to the pan, stir in the carrots, celery and ginger. Stir around for a couple of minutes, then add the lentils, coconut milk and stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, covered with a lid, until the lentils are tender.

Blitz the soup until smooth and creamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into bowls and scatter with a few coriander leaves, a twist of pepper and a pile of toasted coconut flakes.

(Recipe from The Flexible Vegetarian by Jo Pratt, published by Frances Lincoln. Out now).

Find more ideas here

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