A Cook's Plot

Vegetarian & Vegan

Cauliflower, lentil and fennel seed soup

This lightly spiced soup is ideal for spring, but delicious at any time of year

Whenever I’ve put a soup recipe on my website before, it’s either been very definitely a wintry, warming dish, or very light and summery. This, though, is one that works at any time of year. I made it this weekend (at the start of April) and served it with a spoonful of the pesto filling that I use for my my wild garlic rolls:


It’s the start of the wild garlic season here in East Sussex, and it grows really well - too well, in fact! - in my garden, so I’ve come up with lots of delicious ways to use it in the kitchen over the years. The pesto is really useful (perfect for pasta, for example) and the rolls themselves are great with soup. They keep well in the freezer (as does this soup) - always a bonus, in my view!

I’ve topped the soup with pumpkin seeds as well, which add a lovely crunch and an extra layer of flavour, and I sprinkled over some celery salt just before serving - that’s not essential, but I love the way it emphasises the flavour of the fennel seeds.


Serves 4

  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (I used Schwartz hot curry powder)
  • 150g red lentils
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock (I used Knorr Stockpot)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • handful of pumpkin seeds
  • celery salt (optional)


Stir-fry the cauliflower in a little olive oil until browned. Add the fennel seeds and curry powder and fry for a minute, then add a tbsp water, cover the pan and 'steam fry' until the cauliflower is tender. Stir in the lentils and hot stock, bring to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer with the lid on for 25 mins, until the lentils are tender.

Blitz the soup with a stick blender until smooth, then add the lemon juice and plenty of black pepper. Taste for seasoning (you may only need a little salt as the stock may already be quite salty).

Reheat if necessary then pour into bowls, sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, celery salt and with a spoonful of wild garlic pesto (both optional).

A Cook's Plot Tip

You can find celery salt with the spices in larger supermarkets

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