Add the onions, tomatoes, celery stalk, whole parsley and all the vegetables except the squash to a large pot with enough water to cover. Add the lentils, toasted spices, paprika, saffron and herbs. The salt goes in at the end as it can lengthen your lentils' cooking-time
Bring the potage boil and turn down the heat, simmering for 10 minutes. Add the squash, return to the boil, then simmer a further 15-20 minutes uncovered or partially covered only.
If you need to add a little more water make sure it's boiling hot: cold water will shock your lentils and make them hard
when the vegetables are cooked and lentils soft but retaining a bite turn off the heat. Remove and discard the celery, parsley and bay leafs. Add a good glug of olive oil, season to taste then leave to rest, covered, for 10 minutes
meanwhile make the "majado" dressing: pound a clove of garlic with 5-6 peppercorns, loosen with a little white wine or lemon juice and water and add to the "potage" just before serving.
serve with very fresh wholemeal bread and a bowl of olives