Tag Archives: spiced lentil soup

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…7th February-13th February 2021…Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week… It’s Valentines Day…Happy Valentines Day to you all xx

Let’s go and see what goodies I had for you last week…so snuggle up in your favourite corner with your favourite drink tea/coffee or hot chocolate although depending on where in the world you live it could be a glass of wine…Cheers!

Meatless Monday’s…


Where I did commit a faux pas…the salad had prawns in it although I will say it would be just as lovely without…my bad…However, it proves someone read the post as young Jim kindly let me know the error of my ways…Ooops…Thanx Jim…x


Tuesday…My 2nd Protein Shake…Mango and Green Apple…


Wednesday…The Culinary Alphabet in reverse…The Letters V & W…

This series is drawing to a close now only two more posts…But…it is not the end there will be another one coming which I do hope you enjoy…

I couldn’t find many for the letter V but, Pete came up with a cracker…Mazeltov (there’s my v, haha) for finding any food words ending in v. I was about to give up, and then I found one. (Of course, I had to look it up.) The word is “sev” which means “an Indian food of deep-fried strands of flour.”…Well Done, Pete! x


Thursday was time for another Homemade Protein shake this time Banana and Papaya

Bananas...my Thai family came to a visit loaded up with lots of tomatoes, bananas and salad so I think tomato chutney will be next on the agenda…they also brought me a nice big bundle of snake beans which I love and cauliflowers so again cauliflower will be on the menu…maybe some soup or roasted I haven’t decided yet it is so lovely, freshly picked and grown without pesticides…I am so lucky…


Thursday was also the day for Part Five – Anti-Aging and The Immune System by Sally Cronin.

This is a fabulous series which I am enjoying immensely I mean who doesn’t want to turn back the clock just a little and also call a halt to those little telltale wrinkles…I know I do…#recommended read.


Fruity Friday’sJabuticaba Fruit…

Although I have seen fruit growing on the trunk of trees and indeed my own Jackfruit tree grows its fruit from the trunk this fruit looks amazing just like it has all been just placed there…I love discovering new fruits and vegetables and I love even more if I can come across them here, unfortunately, I haven’t come across this lovely fruit here yet but I know some of you lucky people have…


Saturday Snippets…The end of another week and where I release my whimsy…Enjoy!

It is mostly warm and sunny as our high season approaches and I have lots of fruit and vegetables and am enjoying some lovely sunshine breakfasts…I don’t think I have ever eaten as much fruit or vegetables as I do now…but I am loving it…

My walking is on the up 4 days on the bounce 10,000 plus steps I am even succeeding in getting Saangchai to lap me a bit more exercise for Muttley…Today is my rest day in so much as I will just take my evening walk but tomorrow I will be back on track…

I hope you enjoy Saturday Snippets…Happy Valentines Day x


Well, that’s it for today…Thank you so much for dropping by…I hope you have enjoyed the read…if you have please head over and leave a comment it makes my day to hear from you …Love Carol xx

Meatless Monday…Week 5…Spicy lentil soup with crispy shallots and a Thai Pomelo Salad…



Why Meatless Mondays?…

Lots of reasons but healthwise I know we should eat more plant-based meals not only for our health but for the environment…But there is so much information out there that to read, test and digest it takes a while …I have decided to do it in stages as to me it should be a permanent commitment and I wish to find some tasty dishes which are equal in taste to what I normally cook for my family.

Introducing more plant-based meals into your diet can help you maintain a healthy weight if you have some weight to lose then adding more plant-based meals has the benefit of removing foods from your diet which cause weight gain.

Plants are high in fibre…this means by introducing more plant-based recipes to your diet that the health of your gut improves so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from your food… you will be eating foods that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Fibre can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar and it’s great for good bowel management…

For the next few weeks, I will be cooking with lentils…I will admit I don’t use lentils as much as I should…Why? I don’t have a pressure cooker I cook the traditional way and not always successfully…This time I am making a determined effort to use the correct lentils for the recipes

Lentils…like beans, lentils come in all colours red, green, brown, orange they are very versatile and are a little nutrient powerhouse…

Green, brown lentils or puy lentils cook quickly and evenly without becoming mushy and are one of the most versatile …I find the red, yellow and orange lentils are great but since they tend to get mushy when cooked they are best added to soups and sauces than cooked on their own.

How to how to use them… in a healthy soup, in Indian dal, or to add extra texture to a pumpkin stew or rice dish. They are lovely in a cheesy bean and lentil bake and very popular in Indian cuisine,… love a lentil curry…lentils are cheap, healthy and tasty…

This week my Meatless Monday’s recipe is a  Spiced Split Pea Soup with Crispy Shallots…


  • 1 cups dried split peas soaked for 2 hours (or more) and drained
  • 5 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • piece fresh ginger
  • piece fresh turmeric
  • 2 /3medium-sized garlic cloves, peeled
  • ½ tsp salt adjust according to your taste
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 pinch hot pepper powder (optional)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil /ghee which is what I used.
  • For the crispy shallots:
  • 1 large shallot, sliced thinly
  • 3 tbsp of chickpea flour
  • salt + pepper
  • 3 tbsp of grapeseed (or another high-heat oil)

Let’s Cook!

Soak lentils by covering with water for at least 2 hours.

Lentils covered in water soaking.

Melt ghee or heat oil in a pan add spices and stir add onions stir and then add garlic, ginger and turmeric cook for a few mins until the onions soften add carrots and lentils and vegetable stock.

Add the vegetable stock and simmer until tender (it should take approximately 8 minutes in a pressure cooker, 60 minutes in a saucepan and 8 hours in a slow cooker)

While the soup is cooking, make the shallots:

On a plate, mix the flour with the salt and pepper. Then, add the shallots to the flour mixture and toss to coat the shallots with the flour.

Line a small plate with a paper towel and have it nearby. Then, in a small frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Test to make sure the oil is hot enough by adding a shallot and seeing if it sizzles. When the oil is ready, add all of the shallots. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, while shaking the pan to cook evenly (but do not disturb the shallots too much). Do this until they start to become brown (not too dark, because you don’t want them to burn – this can happen quickly). Remove and set them on the plate with the paper towel.

Finish and assemble the soup:

If you like, you can puree the soup. I like to puree about half by spooning half into my blender so that it leaves a little bit of texture, but you can either puree it all or none … however you like your soup texture to be.

Lentil Soup with Onions

Pour the soup into individual bowls,  top with a few crispy shallots.

Verdict: It was ok...we tried it with and without the onions I think it needed the onions but next time I will add a couple of tomatoes and I won’t blitz quite so much I think I got carried away…will make again with a few tweaks…

I also think we need to adjust to lentils as they are not something we eat lots of…it is all a learning curve as I am sure not just for our health but for the planet that we need to cut down on our meat…not cut it out as we need a balanced diet but personally I think for me I would prefer healthy salads, stuffed peppers and vegetable stir-fries…This salad is one of my favourites…

Here is a recipe for one of my favourite salads…Thais certainly know how to make delicious healthy salads will ingredients I never would have thought of using…

Pomelo- fruit-tree

Pomelo Tree and fruit

Pomelo Salad or as it is known here Yum Som O is a wonderful light refreshing salad made with Thai Grapefruit( Pink Grapefruit) can be substituted and there is very little difference in flavour.


  • 2 Pink Grapefruit or 1 Pomelo.
  • 12-16 peeled shrimps.
  • Sm.cucumber diced.
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced shallots.
  • 1/4 cup fresh Thai Basil or Mint.
  • 1/4 cup Fresh coriander.
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts/cashews.
  • 2 tbsp shredded coconut.
  • 1 Red Chilli finely sliced.


  • Half to 1 lime.
  • 3 tbsp Fish Sauce.
  • 1-2 tbsp palm sugar.
  • 1 -2 red chillies finely sliced.
  • Kaffir Lime leaf very finely sliced for garnish.

Pomelo Salad

Let’s Cook!

Set a pot of water to boil on the stove. Add shrimp and boil for just a few minutes, until the shrimp turn pink and are plump and firm to the touch. Drain and set aside to cool.

Place shredded coconut in a dry frying pan or wok over medium-high heat and stir until coconut turns light golden brown and fragrant. Tip coconut into a small bowl to cool and set aside. Repeat with shallots frying in a little oil until golden and crispy tip into a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Prepare your grapefruit or pomelo, removing as much of the white peel as possible from the fruit. Break into bite-size pieces – 3 to 4 cups is a good amount. Set prepared fruit in a salad bowl.

Add to the bowl: cucumber, basil/mint, coriander, and fresh chilli.

Combine all dressing ingredients together in a cup, stirring well to dissolve the sugar.

To put the salad together: Add shrimp to the salad bowl, then pour over the dressing. Toss well to combine. Add most of the toasted coconut, shallots and nuts, reserving a little for garnishing, then toss again. Taste-test the salad for a balance of sweet/sour/spicy/salty. Adjust to your liking, adding more sugar if too sour. For more depth of flavour, add a little Fish Sauce. Your salad is now ready to serve.  Top with reserved coconut, nuts and shredded lime leaf, and


Tip: Like most Thai salad dressings, this is an oil-free dressing, so it doesn’t appear to ‘cling’ as well as oil-based dressings, naturally collecting at the bottom of your salad bowl. This isn’t a problem – just be sure to toss a little more than you would for a regular salad in order to saturate ingredients with the dressing.

This salad is better served and eaten immediately, the fresher the better. If preparing for a party, keep the dressing apart from the salad until you’re ready to eat, then toss them together just before serving.

I do hope you enjoy as this is one of my favourite salads, I do shred my Pomelo much finer though rather than having too chunky. But as with anything, it is a personal preference.


Healthy eating and introducing more meat-free plant-based meals are a commitment…a commitment we make to ourselves to enjoy our food and eat as healthy as we can ….MOST of the time…

That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday……Thank you again to everyone who is suggesting recipes I will try them all…xx

Thank you for reading this post If you have enjoyed this post please leave a comment as any tips or comments I love as you all know I just love to chat…Love Carol xx