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Recipes for Success

Recipes for Success: Red lentil and roasted carrot soup

6 April 2022

Recipes for Success is a series of recipes from experts in the food and drink industry. Originally created as a recipe book for new students, alumni chefs, food bloggers and restauranteurs generously share their delicious, easy-to-make recipes. Find out more about our kitchen savvy Cardiff alumni while making something yummy! 

Meet the chef

Claire Thomson (BA 2001) is a food writer and chef who studied journalism at Cardiff University and was a fresher back in 1998. She’s written six cookery books and has cooked professionally across the globe. She was keen to share one of her favourite (and thriftiest!) recipes with the Cardiff community.

“I make soups often through the colder months. Their ingredients are determined by whatever vegetables I have to hand and (more often than not) some thrifty lentils or beans, which will muscle their way into the pan!”

Let’s get cooking…

Shopping list

Serves 4

500g of carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 onion, finely sliced

2 tablespoons of olive oil, plus more to serve

A big pinch of salt, plus more to season

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

250g of split red lentils

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons of za’atar, optional

What you’ll need

Large saucepan

Roasting tin

Stick blender or food processor


Step 1

Put the carrots and onion into a roasting tin. Add the olive oil and big pinch of salt, and season with black pepper. Add the ground spices, mixing well to coat.

Step 2

Cover the roasting tin tightly with foil and roast the carrots and onion at 190°C for about 35 minutes, until tender.

Step 3

Rinse the red lentils well in cold running water and place in a saucepan with 1 litre of water. Place over a moderate heat and bring to boil. Skim off any froth that rises to the surface, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes, until cooked and very soft. Blend the lentils until smooth.

Step 4

Add the roasted carrots and onion and process to a texture of your liking. Check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper to taste.


You could also include a za’atar, various spice condiments, or just a standalone spice, such as chilli flakes, for everyone to sprinkle for themselves.

Adapted from Home Cookery Year by Claire Thomson (Quadrille)

Our alumni tester, Jackie Yip (BA 2018), says…

“This recipe was super easy to make! I loved how everything came together in less than 30 minutes as you can cook things at the same time. Remember to season to taste at the end though!”

Enjoyed this recipe? We’ve got lots more where that came from in Recipes for Success. Dig in!