Carlo quartered onions seven smallish onions, he roughly chopped a dozen carrots into fingers and minced the stems from a bunch of coriander, cooking the mixture in a generous splash of oil in bottom of soup pot until the onions browned and carrots began to 'get a bit crusty' (whatever that means).
Separately, he boiled two kilos of yellow split peas, a.k.a jumbo lentils, with a teaspoon of bicarbonate in the water to make them softer and a whole lemon with three deep cuts for flavour for about twenty minutes. While the lentils were still quite firm, Carlo added half of them to the soup base while continuing to simmer the other half.
The soup base was spiced with powdered coriander, curry powder, and paprika, plus two teaspoons of sugar, salt and pepper. Carlo added a couple of glasses of hot water to prevent sticking and carried on cooking the soup in a covered pan. Then he added 100g creamed coconut dissolved in two litres of boiling water and liquidisized. Finally, the rest of the cooked lentils were incorporated, along with a two kilo packet of frozen fava beans and 200g bean sprouts for crunch.
This was a really unusual soup that went down very well with those who tried it. 'Very new and interesting,' wrote someone in the log bok, 'I loved it!' Even Esme (below) enjoyed it, which is high praise indeed. The meat eaters among us found the flavour intriguing, asking if the soup contained crab, perhaps, or chicken stock? As if!