In the two decades since she won the Turner Prize, Gillian Wearing has placed family at the heart of her work, such as her series of self-portraits in which she dons eerily realistic silicone masks resembling her own relations. So it comes as no surprise that Wearing has selected a hearty family dish for us. ‘My favourite dinner when I was a child was my mother’s vegetable soup,’ she says. The original recipe called for lamb, but having been vegetarian for many years, she finds this meat-free variation ‘fills that nostalgic food gap’.


Onion, leeks, olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, red lentils, potatoes, vegetable stock, black pepper


1. Slice the onion and leeks and fry them in olive oil for a few minutes. When softened, add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

2. Wash the red lentils and add to the other ingredients.

3. Roughly cut up the potatoes; they can still be in their skins. Add to the pan.

4. Pour in vegetable stock (for further flavour you can use two stock cubes).

5. Simmer for about 35 minutes until the lentils and potatoes are cooked.

6. Season with black pepper.

NB this is not a liquidised soup.

As originally featured in the December 2017 issue of Wallpaper* (W*225)