• Feb
  • 16
  • 2011

Soup for Starters – potato and lentil soup

Potato and Lentil soupAfter three months of living the static life in Turkey we were delighted to be offered a simple job. Our task – cook and rephotograph a potato and lentil soup recipe from potatosoup.org. We’ve found this food photography business isn’t as easy as it may look, but it is lots of fun, so we started Someday Spoon to chart our progress and report on other travel and food related finds along the way.

Although this first job seemed easy enough (we made potato and leek soup a just few days before), after starting to cook we became very aware that we were not only cooking for us and our taste buds but also for you and your eyeballs. We had never put much thought into whether cutting big chunks of potato or dicing it small would look better so we threw caution to the wind and after an hour and a half of cooking we were ready to photograph. In the following hours we made more of a mess photographing soup than cooking it. A couple of hundred images later, after 3 different bowls, 3 reheats, 2 locations, 2 tea towels, 2 lens changes and agonizing over whether to include the spoon, where to place the bread and what to garnish the soup with, we finally had a selection of images we liked.

In the end we went with one of the most simple shots, and in combination with our ingredients shot we think it is a good starting point. It does leave a lot of room for improvement and we have definitely resolved to simplify the process in the future.

Potato and Lentil soup

We loved doing this first job and Leon (the boss) has since asked us to continue rephotographing other recipes from his extensive collection. Our first task is to revitalize the 200+ unappetizing and illegible recipes on easyrecipes.org and so the journey begins…

Soup for Starters


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 6

Serving Size: large bowl

Soup for Starters


  • 1 lb of peeled and chopped potatoes
  • 5 oz of red lentils
  • 5 oz of minced and cooked spinach
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • 1 tbsp of cumin
  • 2 tbsp of curry powder
  • 1 tbsp of fresh coriander
  • Salt
  • Garnish:
  • Sprig of Coriander
  • Diced Green Pepper
  • Plain Yogurt


  1. In a pan fry the cumin seeds, stirring constantly until they brown.
  2. Add the potatoes, lentils,
  3. tbsp of curry and half of the water.
  4. Bring to the boil and simmer until the water reduces to half.
  5. Add the rest of the water, curry, salt and spinach.
  6. Reduce the flame and simmer until the potato and
  7. lentils are soft, and then add the coriander.
  8. Serve with a sprig of coriander and a little diced
  9. green pepper and plain yogurt.
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  • If you use a different kind of lentils, cook the lentils with the cumin first until they are
    halfway done. Then add the potatoes and continue with the same procedure.
  • Adding a squeeze of lemon and drizzle of olive oil also makes for a nice garnish.

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