This recipe has a complicated history, it was originally pinched, for want of a better culinary word, from a very old Eliza Acton original dating from the early nineteenth century. Eighth Day Café developed it up into their usual vast quantities and it has been a favourite for the last dozen years, each new cook altering it slightly as is the way of things here. Now of course we’ve reduced it back down to a more domestic quantity for our site. We could have just used the original but no one can remember what it was. In any event it is a fine example of that most British institution, a thoroughly anglicised Indian dish.


4oz Red Lentils
1 Small Potato
½lb Carrots
1 Small Turnip or Swede (about 4 ounces)
1 Parsnip
1 Courgette
1 Onion
14oz Tin Chopped Tomatoes
1 Tablespoon Tomato Pureé
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1 Teaspoon Curry powder
1 Dessert Apple
2 Pints Water
2 dessert spoons Sunflower Oil
Salt & Pepper


  1. Peel and dice the onion, heat the oil in a saucepan add the onion and fry gently with the garam masala and curry powder.
  2. Whilst the onion is frying wash the lentils under cold running water, it is easiest to put them in a sieve.
  3. As soon as the onion is soft add the water to the pan put in the lentils and turn up the heat.
  4. Wash the vegetables, peeling any that are not organic, dice into ½ to 1 inch chunks and add to the pan, along with the chopped tomatoes and the pureé to the pan.
  5. Once the soup begins to boil stir and then lower the heat and allow to simmer.
  6. Wash, core and small dice the apple and add to the pan.
  7. Cover and simmer for approximately 1 hour, until all the vegetables are cooked.
  8. Season to taste and serve. This soup is a meal in itself for four and could be a starter for 6.

Back to our recipe list

Daily Menu

What’s cooking today? Our menu changes daily so keep up to date with our kitchens offerings and make sure you don’t miss out on your favourite dish.

Find out more

Our Food

All our hot food and salads are freshly made on a daily basis by our chefs in house, we support local bakeries for our fresh bread and delicious cakes, brownies and cheesecakes.


Hire the Cafe

Looking for a space to hire? We have the space for cookery demos and workshops with or without catering services.  Take a look at what we can offer for your event.