Egyptian Lentil Soup with Pumpkin and Caramelized Onions

Egyptian Lentil Soup by Meeta K. Wolff-0036

People say, the second half of our lives will seem a lot shorter than the first. Many people will arguably confirm this feeling. I presume a reason for this could be that many things in our daily lives become more and more routine. Maybe that’s why in retrospect years seem like just a few weeks. 

We seem to ease into a routine that feels comfortable to us and before we know it we are pretty much doing the same old in the same schema. What do you do? Do you slide into the convenient pace and walk the familiar path? Do you break the conventional and shake things up by doing new things or the old in a new way?

After many months of travelling, exciting projects and photo jobs, not to mention TV spots and workshops paired with my part time job at the university and full time post as mummy I can hardly say that things have always been routine. On the contrary, the routine is something I lean against to ground me and help me find my balance again.

Egyptian Lentil Soup by Meeta K. Wolff-0030

Egyptian Lentil Soup by Meeta K. Wolff-0041

I am in that mode right now. Dubai flew by like a breeze. The 2 weeks were anything but routine! Coming back home I have craved normality and just going about the habitual activities, university, girlfriends, family, homework and cooking. I have picked a few select commissioned projects and photo jobs but mainly I am looking forward to doing a few things I have said I have always wanted to do – like finally getting my images up on stock. Ask my dear friend Simone how long I have been saying that!

Egyptian Lentil Soup by Meeta K. Wolff-0032

November is here already – the year was far from routine - one thing was always with me however, good soothing and comforting food. Dishes like this heartwarming Egyptian lentil soup always hit the right spots when you need a shot of home. To the lentils I add chunks of pumpkin and the caramelized onions are the big umami factor. It is easy to put together and perfect for a cold weeknight dinner!

Recipe: Egyptian Lentil Soup with Pumpkin and Caramelized Onions

Prep Time:
Total Time:
Serves: 4



  • 2 Onions
  • 4 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small butternut squash, cut into cubes
  • ¾ teaspoon Cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon Ground coriander
  • 150g Split red lentils
  • 1.5 liters vegetable stock
  • ½ Lemon, juice



  1. Chop one of the onions and slice the other. In a saucepan, fry the chopped onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil until soft and just beginning to color. Stir in the garlic, cumin and coriander, add the pumpkin and cook for a few minutes. Add the lentils and the stock and bring to the boil. Remove any scum that appears on the surface. Simmer for 30–40 minutes, or until the lentils and pumpkin are tender.
  2. Warm the remaining oil in a frying pan, add the sliced onion, cover and cook over a low heat for 15–20 minutes until soft. Take off the lid, turn up the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until dark, crisp and caramelized. Set aside.
  3. Taste and season the soup, adding water if it needs thinning down – it should be of a thick consistency. Stir in the lemon juice before serving and garnish each bowl with some of the caramelized onions.


Egyptian Lentil Soup by Meeta K. Wolff-0035

I absolutely love this humble soup with easy ingredients and a lot of big bold flavors. Heart and moreish, one will always want seconds so I usually make bigger batches of the soup and freeze portions. Being versatile one can serve the basic soup in many different varieties. Add baby spinach leaves or kale instead of pumpkin for a green power kick, cubes of kohlrabi or parsnips add a slightly sweet note and a handful of porcini mushrooms gives a wonderful savory and earthy touch. 

More heartwarming soup ideas from What’s for lunch, Honey?

Carrot Lentil Soup (01) by MeetaK Tuscan Tomato Soup (01) by MeetaK Red Bell Pepper and Fava Bean Soup (01) by MeetaK
Carrot and Red Lentil Soup with a Hint of Cumin Tuscan Tomato and Bread Soup - Pappa al Pomodoro Yellow Bell Pepper and Fava Bean Soup

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2015 Meeta Khurana Wolff unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. A gorgeous stew! So delicious, comforting and warming.

    Routine is sometimes good and sometimes bad... Like everything in life, finding the right balance is important. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible to control this.



  2. O yay! Is it gonna happen? :) Yes routine is the stuff that makes me still breath every once in a while, in a life where nothing is really routine anyway. It's been hectic as hell here lately and we so need to catch up! It's been too long! But glad to hear you're going to do the stock thing... Let me know if you need help!

  3. I do like a chunky soup, just need some lentils!

  4. The soup looks so simple and hearty Meeta! I absolutely love it. I love the picture of lentil <3

  5. I love lentils and all the ingredients in this recipe. It's now on my 'want to make it' list R

  6. Am I the only one who cannot get the recipe to print? Would love to have this printed out.

    1. Hi there Marnie, Sorry for the late reply and for the inconvenience. You can print the recipe via the Print Recipe button in the recipe field. There was a slight glitch to the link, which I have repaired. I hope you enjoy the recipe and come back to tell me :)

  7. It finally started to feel like winter out here and all I want is soup. That looks quite comforting!


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