Our autumn has finally arrived and the time has come for big pots of soup filled with sweet, blistered, roasted vegetables and hearty warming spices. This Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup is my latest favourite and the chickpeas, quinoa, and roasted sweet potato, capsicum, and parsnip make the perfect antidote to the cold dry winds whispering through our creaky bay cottage.
I moved in full-time with Chris nearly a year ago to the day. Last night I found myself nesting in what has become our little home, and the beginning of our story together. I tidied and fussed and plumped up pillows until Chris finally said to me ‘you are really comfortable here now aren’t you?’. As I stirred a big pot of vegetable and quinoa soup on the stove I realised how at peace I am here now. After living with my parents my whole life, without even a move away for university, I was unsure and a little nervous when I first moved in with Chris. I knew the idiosyncrasies of my parents and they knew mine. I had all of my things, and all of my routines. And I had no idea how to live with someone else.
Sharing your space with someone you are in love with places you on a steep learning curve, especially if you want to be successful. You learn their routines, their patterns, and habits very quickly. There is some tip-toeing at first, but you have to be brave enough to open yourself up to critique and learn to make the space your home too. Over the past year Chris has seen me through the every day muck and mire, through the singing in the kitchen while cupcakes bake to the crumpled on the bed in tears because I can’t make the clouds in my head go away. There have been early morning races to the emergency room, midnight runs to the local ice cream shop, and sunset walks where we argue about gender politics, action movies, and everything in between. I have brought my books into the house – the one thing that makes a space truly mine, and worked out a truce with the postage stamp kitchen – cleaning up as you go is key. These four walls have become my house too, but the man beside me, eating soup and laughing at John Oliver, is what really makes this house a home.
This hearty vegetable, quinoa, and chickpea soup was born out of an abundance of autumn vegetables hanging around in our refrigerator at the end of the week. The flavoursome vegetable foundation of the soup is all of my favourite autumn vegetables: capsicum, sweet potato, carrot, and parsnip roasted with fresh rosemary, oregano, and thyme. While the vegetables were cooking I boiled up some quinoa and sauteed red onion, a decent dose of garlic, and a rich array of spices. Once the vegetables and quinoa are cooked, the whole lot is combined in the pot and gently warmed. The scent of roasted herbs and warmed spices will fill your house and chase away any chill. Turn your house into a home with big bowls of this belly warming soup served with love to the ones who make that house a home.
Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup
Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 6 | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in a saucepan over a gentle heat until bubbling.
- 2 small sweet potato (~250 grams each)
- 2 large carrots
- 1 medium capsicum
- 1 medium parsnip
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 large red onion
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1.5L vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 400 gram (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Peel and dice your sweet potatoes (about the size of a playing dice). Chop up carrots, parsnip, and capsicum into medium chunks. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft in the centre and starting to caramelise on the edges.
- While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the quinoa. Rinse quinoa thoroughly and place in a large saucepan (about 3L capacity) with 2 cups of room temperature water. Bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside until needed.
- Peel and dice red onion and crush garlic cloves.
- Using the same large saucepan heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Saute onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add cumin, paprika and coriander and cook until fragrant ~ 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, vegetable stock, and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and reduce to a simmer.
- Add chickpeas, roasted vegetables (and any juices from the pan), and cooked quinoa. Cook until warmed through. Serve.