Batch Cooking My Work Lunches: Red Lentil and Coconut Soup

It’s been a while since I’ve been able to batch cook.

(Ok, that is not strictly true, I made 2 portions of a swede, cabbage, onion, carrot and pea soup earlier this week, but for various reasons it smelt and tasted bad, we all make mistakes).

I have decided to use up what I have in my cupboards, perhaps inspired by being stuck at home due to the snow, and I decided to tackle a bag of lentils I bought in 2017. Probably mid 2017.

I had a quick look on BBC Good Food for ideas and made this.

Note: I have divided it into 4 potions, but I think it would have been better as 3, but maybe I am greedy (I am greedy).


150g Red Split Lentils

1 Tbsp Chopped Ginger (I used frozen)

2 Gloves Garlic (I used 2 tsp of lazy garlic)

1 lovely sized tsp of Turmeric (There ain’t no party like a Turmeric party)

1.2l Vegetable Stock.

1/2 Onion, or 2 handfuls of Frozen Onion

3 ‘clumps’ (technical term, obviously) of Frozen Spinach

400ml Can of Light Coconut Milk


Add the lentils, turmeric, ginger and garlic to a large pan and then add the stock.

Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes, until the lentils are soft.

Add the coconut milk, mix and then add the frozen vegetables and simmer until cooked.

Lean over the saucepan and smell your delicious soup.

When The Boy suggests you assign your coloured soup mugs to certain days of the week – e.g. Red = Monday, scoff at him, but actually think it’s a good idea.

(What colour would you guys assign to each day?)

(I would have Red = Monday, Pink = Tuesday, Green = Wednesday and Blue = Thursday)

(They only had 4 colours in the shop, poor Friday).



Batch Cooking My Work Lunches: Mushroom ‘Barlotto’

I have been feeling guilty about my long forgotten grains in the cupboards which expired months ago, so decided today when it came to making my lunches for the week I would use up the one with the oldest best before date. Which was my Pearl Barley.

(A quick note, yes I am gung ho and cavalier with my best before dates, because that is ok, the food was just better before that date. You can disregard a best before date but you should never disobey a USEĀ by date. You can really make yourself ill.)


As usual I used almost exclusively frozen vegetables because it’s cheaper and suits the boy and my’s lifestyle.

The recipe came from the excellent student cook book ‘Beyond Baked Beans Green’ by Fiona Beckett.

A ‘Barlotto’ is a risotto type dish made with pearl barley. You don’t need to stir it as much. And it is cheaper.

Normally I tell a little whimsical story about something I did whilst I was cooking this, but unfortunately the boy and I were getting angry with each other and our internet as it had stopped working and we were failing to get back the connection. I know, I know, ‘First World Problems’, but that’s why I wasn’t doing something cute. I wasn’t even listening to Absolute 80s.


250g of pearl barley, celery, frozen mushrooms, 1 red onion, frozen onion and a tin of chopped tomatoes and 500ml stock equalled four work lunches made up of 3 heaped kitchen spoon portions. I should be fine till Friday, when I will panic.