Thinly slice the onion and carrot and place them in a ceramic bowl.
In a small pan, warm the vinegar, sugar and salt, bringing them to a boil over a medium heat, until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Pour the mixture over the onion and carrots, and ensure they are completely submerged in liquid. Leave to rest.
Toast the coconut
In a small frying pan, add the coconut flakes and a pinch of salt (you don’t need oil as the coconut contains its own natural oils). Over a low heat, lightly toast the flakes until golden. Set aside.
For the soup
Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pan and add the onion, butternut squash, carrot, garam masala, turmeric and ginger. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veg are soft.
Stir in the lentils and hot water. Simmer for a further 15 minutes.
Continue to simmer the soup for 15 minutes or until the lentils and vegetables are soft. Taste and season if needed, adding more water for a thinner soup, if you like. Take off the heat and serve into four bowls.
Top with pickle, toasted coconut flakes, herbs and serve. For an additional kick, add chilli flakes.