lentil soup with lemon, ginger and honey

Nearly all of us in the family have been tagged by a cold. Number Two is the only one still standing. Somehow, I made it through last winter without a single cold. There were a couple of episodes of feeling more tired than usual, with all the warning signs, but the symptoms were squashed by the very next day. Then came March and The Massive Attack: strep throat. Spring was not going to let me get away without paying some cold dues. The year before was another sickness-free winter, til good old March rolled in and a violent cold completely rolled me. So, this year I was hoping my lucky streak (and quite good immune system) would remain unchallenged. And that I’d just prepare myself for a latent run-in with some super bug or other. Guess this family cold had other plans. It seems I’ve had the virus-lite version, but still, I’m reminded of just how fiercely energy is zapped and how good a pillow looks at all times of the day.

After three days of moving in slow-mo, I was ready for sustenance. So I did a once-around-the-fridge and began pulling whatever I could get my hands on to make soup. It was all I wanted and everything my stuffed-up head and drooping body needed. I’ve tried to recreate it here for you (a bona fide recipe!), but you know how that goes. When it comes to quantities and seasoning, play around with it until it’s just what you want. I know you’re good at that. My only real tip? Squeeze lots of lemon juice in at table. Or bed. Wherever you’re hanging out. I mean lots.




The Cold Buster: Lentil Soup with lemon,ginger and honey



  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup tinned diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-2 Tbsp curry powder (to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme (pinched from stalks)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 liters vegetable broth
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • fresh cilantro, roughly chopped, to garnish
  • lemon wedges for table


1. Heat olive oil in a medium stock pot over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper, sea salt, black pepper, thyme, curry powder and cumin and saute 15 minutes, until onions are translucent. Reduce heat if necessary to prevent browning. Add a splash of vegie stock (or water) to prevent sticking.

2. Add carrots, sweet potato and zucchini and sauté 5 minutes.

3. Add vegie stock, tomatoes, tomato paste, lentils and honey. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 30-45 minutes, until lentils are tender. Taste and correct seasoning (salt and pepper).

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with lemon wedges.