Spring Flowers and Spiced Red Lentil & Carrot Soup with Frazzled Onions

Jolly spring flowers - Crocuses in the front garden

– Spring Flowers –

Spiced Red Lentil & Carrot Soup with Frazzled Onions

Spiced Red Lentil & Carrot Soup with Frazzled Onions

Spring has definitely sprung at last, but I am not being lulled into a false sense of security just yet, we have had snow and frost in May before now, but whilst the sun is shining and the flowers are budding, I am a very happy little spring lamb. The crocuses are out, as are my violets, as many of you know already from my recent violet recipes, and the daffodils are also opening their petals and are nodding cheerfully in the warm breeze.  My hens are VERY happy as the days are longer and warmer, and they are back into full egg laying mode once again………so expect to see lots of recipes with EGGS! But even though spring appears to have arrived at last, there is still that elemental need for warm soup…….I love soup all year around as it happens, but it’s never more  comforting than during the colder months, and it is still fairly brisk “of an evening” as we say in these parts, so soup was on the menu yesterday, and a spicy one at that.

Sunny Crocuses in the garden

Frazzled! Now there is a word that I love, and use constantly when I am in a state of panic and disorder…….I am often “frazzled” at the end of a long day and in need of a wee glass of something to restore me, but,  it seems that the word takes on a new meaning when applied to crisply fried onions, and frazzled these onions were when I served them with my spicy soup. The “frazzling” of the onions is essential to the different textures when serving this soup;  what I was aiming for was crunch and slightly charred onion to compliment the unctuous creaminess and mellow spiciness of the red lentil and carrot soup, and it worked perfectly. I dolloped swirled some crème fraîche on the top,  just an extra security measure for creaminess and soothing coolness to balance the spice and heat.

Spiced Red Lentil & Carrot Soup with Frazzled Onions

I have decided to enter this spiced vegetarian soup into the No Croutons Required challenge for March, which, as luck would have it has SPICY soups or salads as the theme this month. The challenge is being hosted by the lovely Lisa from Lisa’s Kitchen this month and if you fancy entering into the challenge, you can find all the details here: No Croutons Required – March Challenge. I love lentils in cooking,  and just 50g of cooked lentils provides you with one of your five-a-day, plus they are an excellent source of fibre as well as being low GI. They are also known to help decrease cholesterol levels, so a “super pulse” in the  kitchen and a very important ingredient for vegetarians. Red lentils cook quickly and I often throw a handful into soups and stews and they make a great (and healthy) thickening ingredient.

Spiced Lentil & Carrot Soup with Frazzled Onions

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Snack, Soup, Starter
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Hot
Occasion Casual Party
Region Indian
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
A fragrantly spiced soup with two of your Five-a-Day in one bowl, this makes a tasty lunch or supper dish when served with Naan breads or Pitta breads.


  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 600g carrots (peeled, and cut into small dice or rounds)
  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock (I used Swiss Marigold Bouillon)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
  • 2 onions (peeled and sliced into rings)
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • crème fraîche (to serve)
  • salt and black pepper


A fragrantly spiced soup with two of your Five-a-Day in one bowl, this makes a tasty lunch or supper dish when served with Naan breads or Pitta breads. If you prefer a thinner soup, then add more stock to the soup after blending.


Step 1 Heat the rapeseed oil in a large sauce pan and then add the carrots, place the lid on the pan and allow the carrots to sweat for 5 minutes, before adding the red lentils - mix them around to coat them with the oil, replace the lid and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 2 Add the cumin and curry powder to the carrots and lentils and cook over a medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring all the time, before adding the stock. Replace the lid on the pan and simmer for 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft and the lentils are cooked. Allow to cool and then using a stick blender, blend the soup until smooth. Check seasoning and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Put the soup to one side whilst cooking the onion garnish.
Step 3 For the frazzled onions - pour the rapeseed oil into a frying pan over a high heat. Add the onion rings and fry over a high heat whilst constantly moving the onion rings around, if they brown too much, turn the heat down slightly. Continue to cook the onions until they are soft and yet crispy with charred edges.
Step 4 Re-heat the soup over a low heat without bringing it to the boil, check seasoning again and then ladle into warm soup bowls and garnish with the fried onions and some crème fraîche. Swerve with Naan bread or Indian flat breads.

Spiced Red Lentil and Carrot Soup with Frazzled Onions

That’s all from me today, I hope that you are enjoying the spring weather wherever you are, or a mild autumn if you are in the Southern hemisphere, I will be back later with a book review and some amazing home-made jam, as well as some other surprises! See you later, Karen.


  1. says

    That soup looks wonderful and I love the idea of frazzled onions. It is delightful to see the spring flowers popping up but it’s not exactly balmy yet, at least not as far north as I am. I’m still enjoying the comfort of home-made soups and although I am very much looking forward to warmer days, I’ll continue to enjoy a nice hot bowl of soup on a grey day.

    • says

      Thanks Lorna, I am the same, even in the warmer months I will often make soup as a pick-me-up when the weather is dull……the frazzled onions were great, and the flowers were also a treat for the soul too. Karen

  2. says

    Lovely entry. Thank you so much. Please do send me an email (our nocroutonsrequired account) with your details as per instructions. Best regards, Lisa

  3. says

    This soup looks beautiful and delicious. Does rapeseed oil have a distinctive flavor? I’m not sure where to find it in the US so I may have to substitute a different oil.

  4. says

    I love lentils (one of my favorite legumes) but I really stopped by to see what the frazzled onions were all about 😉 I love crispy crunchy onions and the combo with soup sounds fantastic – especially with that dollop of creme =) I’m just going to sit here and stare for a while…

  5. says

    This looks like the most gorgeous soup – full of flavor!! I love the title – I feel a bit like a frazzled onion at times!!
    Mary x

  6. says

    I know, I’ve already shared my enthusiasm for lentils and these frazzled onions, but I wanted to drop by and let you know I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution) – this had to shared!

  7. says

    Oh wow!
    Firstly,it is not really spring here in New Delhi,India,though it is gradually becoming warmer(Thank goodness!) !
    This soup looks so delicious – the soothing orange color,and creamy,smooth texture!
    Going to note down/bookmark this(Need to make this soon!) ;Thank you lots for sharing!:-)

  8. says

    Quite by chance I made a carrot and red lentil soup yesterday (with coriander and a few other stone soup ingredients)and then saw this post today. I hadn’t thought of using curry powder – maybe next time! Yours looks lovely;)

    • says

      THANKS so much, I saw your lovely photo on Twitter and I also think the idea of serving this soup with cheese sandwiches is great!

    • says

      Thanks so much for posting your lovely photo on Twitter, I saw it and I also think it was a great idea to serve this soup with cheese sandwiches too! Karen

  9. Fiona Matters says

    I really adore the look of this soup. I’m a fan of lentils and carrots in soup and a nice spicy soup is just fabulous when you have a cold. I’ve not sweated the carrots before hand and I also love the onions being “frazzled”. I will have to have a go at this. Cheers.

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