Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with Quinoa, Feta and Chilli | Gluten Free | Vegetarian

A bright midwinter vegetarian soup filled with gnarly root vegetables, fresh greens, and herbs, and topped with a simple spicy quinoa garnish. This soup makes the most of deep winter greens and hardy winter vegetables. Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comI’m a greens-loving girl. I love big bowls of crunchy freshness, smoothies packed with spinach, and I’ve been known to snack on broccoli stems while making dinner. (It’s okay Mum I’m still eating cookies too.) In the middle of a biting winter night though, there is nothing more soothing than a big bowl of thick, flavoursome soup and this one comes packed with the goodness of greens too!Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup 1Celeriac is the ugly duckling of the vegetable world. It looks nubbly and knotted and really rather ugly. But just like that aesthetically challenged duck, when celeriac comes into its own it brings a singular beauty to the world, or your dinner table in this case. Celeriac tastes like the halfway point between celery and potato. Creamy, with a bit of a bite. You can roast it, mash it, or you can make delicious and hearty Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with it. Celeriac is joined by the ultimate greens: kale and broccoli. Say hello to a boost of iron, vitamins A, C, and E, folate, and calcium! Bye bye winter colds!

This soup is so easy. I made it on a Monday night and enjoyed a boost of greens at lunchtime all week long. While you are sipping on a hard-earned cup of tea and massaging high-heel tortured feet (or sipping diet coke and wearing sweaty gym clothes like I was) you peel and chop a few parsnips, some onion, a large celeriac and a few cloves of garlic. Then pop the whole lot into some vegetable stock with a few large tablespoonfuls of herbs and let it bubble away while you relax for thirty minutes. Add some roughly chopped kale and a head of broccoli and you are just a puree away from hearty green heaven.  Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comThis soup is made extra hearty and filling by the addition of a dollop of spicy quinoa. While the soup bubbled away I boiled up some quinoa, and then let it cool to room temperature before tossing through some flavoursome extra virgin olive oil, chilli flakes and crumbled feta cheese. Every mouthful is a slurp of creamy, green, herby soup accompanied by the hearty chew of quinoa, salty feta, and a slight bite of chilli. Simple but perfect. Just what a midweek dinner should be. Serve up Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with Quinoa, Feta and Chilli for dinner tonight!Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with Quinoa, Feta and Chilli

Vegetarian | Vegan adaptation: replace feta with chopped black olives | Gluten Free | Serves 4

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to a month. Reheat on the stove over a gentle heat.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1 large celeriac
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups (1 litre) low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 bunch of kale

For the quinoa

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 60 grams feta, crumbled (or olives for vegan option)
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)


  1. Peel and dice onion into medium chunks.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat and add onion. Sauté until tender.
  3. Peel and crush cloves of garlic and add to onion.
  4. Peel and dice parsnips and celeriac into large chunks. Add to pot and sauté a few minutes until the edges of the vegetables begin to soften.
  5. Add dried herbs and pepper and stir to coat vegetables in herbs.
  6. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce the heat to very low and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer for thirty minutes or until vegetables are very soft.
  7. While soup is cooking prepare the quinoa. Place rinsed quinoa into a medium sauce pan and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes without stirring then remove from the heat and stand for five minutes. Then stir in salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Allow to sit until serving.
  8. Once the soup has been cooking for thirty minutes roughly chop the kale and broccoli (including stem) and add to the pot. Cook for a further ten minutes then remove from the heat.
  9. Use an immersion blender to blend soup until smooth. Place over a low heat to keep warm.
  10. Stir crumbled feta into quinoa.
  11. Ladle soup into bowls and top with quinoa mixture.

Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing

Get ready to roast all the winter root vegetables until they are sweet and soft then pile them on top of buttery millet and garnish with a yoghurt-based roasted garlic and marjoram dressing. This dish is comforting, super simple, and filled with good-for-you, fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSometimes on a Tuesday night on the way home from the gym you get a call from your little sister telling you that she is going to hospital because she has pains in her chest. Sometimes you feel powerless because there is nothing you can do so you need to go home and do something that keeps your hands busy because otherwise you will go crazy. So you go home and peel and chop and roast vegetables while eating roasted almonds and dark chocolate. Or so I hear. Note: she is now home and fine. Not a heart attack just a strained chest muscle. Phew. Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNot only are winter vegetables the best for keeping worried hands busy, they are exactly what my body is craving right now. I love all the winter vegetables in their sweet, carbohydrate-storing glory – parsnips, beetroot, sweet potato, swedes, turnips – send me your root vegetables and I will love them. Winter vegetables are hardy, they grow in the rough, hard, cold ground to nourish us all winter long. And when you blast them with heat they will reward you with sweetness, straight from the earth.Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI used a mix of my favourite winter root vegetables in this dish, and you can replace the ones that you aren’t too fond of (I am aware that not everyone shares my love for swedes – the vegetable, not the people) with your favourites. The most important thing to remember when roasting a large amount of vegetables is to make sure that your pieces are all roughly the same size. This way they will cook in a similar amount of time and you won’t have crunchy beets and soggy sweet potatoes. Ick. These, mostly uniformly sized, chopped winter veggies were cooked through and soft, but not squishy, and the mix of vegetables provided contrasting flavours in each bite. See, even in the middle of winter variety abounds!Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI paired my roasted vegetable gems with millet. I love this ‘pseudo-grain’ (it’s really a seed) for it’s naturally buttery flavour, and how easy it is to prepare. Much like quinoa it goes into a pot on the stove, boils, simmers, sits and voila! Ready to serve in under 20 minutes! The yoghurt sauce was inspired by aioli. I love aioli, but I’ve never tacked it at home (yet…). I had some thick Greek yoghurt, some garlic, and marjoram in the fridge. Roasted garlic is my siren song, so into the oven it went where it turned from sharp edged fresh garlic to golden, molten roasted garlic heaven. Mmmm. The plain sweet, roasted vegetables and buttery millet welcomed the herbed garlic yoghurt dressing perfectly. Gather your favourite winter vegetables and let’s make this tonight!Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing

Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 4

Note: the vegetables listed below are what I used in my dish, but feel free to replace them with your favourite winter veggies!


  • 2 medium beetroot
  • 1 large swede
  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 5 large shallots (substitute two red onions)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked millet
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock


  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves (substitute oregano if you’d like)
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons verjuice/lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) and line a large rimmed baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Peel and chop beetroot, swede, sweet potatoes, and parsnip into fairly uniformly sized pieces, just larger than a playing dice. Peel shallots and slice in half.
  3. Place chopped vegetables onto baking tray, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap head of garlic in foil and place on tray too. Roast vegetables for 25-30 minutes or until soft in the centres.
  4. While vegetables are cooking, prepare the millet. Rinse millet thoroughly and then place in a medium sauce pan with vegetable stock. Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Once the millet is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, and place the lid on the sauce pan. Cook for 15 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat, allow it to rest for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
  5. To make the dressing. Peel and quarter shallot. Place into a small food processor with marjoram and whizz until finely chopped. Squeeze heads of roasted garlic out and add to food processor. Whizz until combined.
  6. Add yoghurt, verjuice, and salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
  7. Divide millet between plates, top with vegetables, and garnish with yoghurt dressing.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free

Creamy, hearty, curry-spiced soup with a bright, crunchy, spicy chickpea and seed sprinkle that will comfort you through any winter night. The secret: this soup is entirely vegan and gluten free. The creaminess comes from cauliflower, split peas, and the secret ingredient: cashews. Set the stove to simmer, it’s time for comfort food.Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI am a serial list maker, and also, sometimes, a cereal list maker. I have a notebook that I carry around with me that I fill with lists and recipes and plans. Lists of things I want to bake, places I want to visit, things to do, shopping lists, packing lists. I have pads of sticky notes everywhere: in my car, multiple stacks on my desk, next to the bed, in the kitchen, in my handbag. I find these notes in the most unlikely of places, and each re-found list brings questions of what I was thinking/baking/making at the time. Sometimes the ideas are wonderfully delicious (like these tostadas and those cupcakes), and sometimes I just don’t remember what I was thinking (Xigua? Good Scrabble word apparently). At the moment we are preparing to move into our new house – cue massive list explosion!Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAs a result of all these lists I sometimes lose the recipes that I want to make right now! (Although, I do have a master list of recipes…) So when the latest Donna Hay magazine showed up, and after I had pasted sticky notes on nearly every page. I promised myself that I would make one of the recipes right now! After all this issue is filled with warming winter recipes that are perfect for our cold, misty evenings.

Tonight, when while we prepared to travel to join family in farewelling Nanny we needed a little comfort, so soup was just the right fit. We sorted through ties, found (and untangled) pantihose (seriously, how do they get so tangled?), ironed shirts, and listened to history radio shows, and all the while this hearty soup bubbled on the stove ready to offer comfort and warmth.Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeEverything in this bowl is comfort. Cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds warm gently over the stove and mingle with garlic and onion to form a solid flavour base for this hearty vegan soup. Yellow split peas and cashews offer valuable plant-based protein and melt into the other ingredients and become the support for the key players cauliflower and corn. In fact, this soup is entirely plant-based. Despite its heavy, creamy texture, there is no cream. All of the silken smooth texture comes from blending the cooked split peas and softened cashews with the cauliflower. No one would be any the wiser if you didn’t tell them about the absence of cream. I don’t think they’ll mind be fooled when bellies are warmed and spoons are scraping the bottoms of bowls.Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTo top off these creamy bowls you make a quick, crunchy topping of chickpeas, mixed seeds, garlic, and an echo of the same spices used in the soup with just a touch of sugar. Sprinkles aren’t only for cupcakes, don’t you know. The perfect partner to a bowl of creamy soup is a crunchy, spicy topping and this one provides. I can just imagine how amazing it would taste as a topper for avocado toast too! This sprinkle is a pumped up version of dukkah. All your spicy, nutty, sweet topping dreams come true. Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNeed a list for this soup? Here you go:

  • Healthy – check
  • Hearty – check
  • Warmly spiced – check
  • Creamy – double check
  • Weeknight friendly – check

Check dinner off your list tonight with my Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle.

Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle

(Adapted from: Donna Hay, Issue 81)

Gluten Free | Vegan | Serves 4 | Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to a month



  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 500 grams)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, ground
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • ½ cup unsalted cashews
  • 1.5 L low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 ears of corn

Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar


  1. Peel and finely dice brown onion. Peel and crush garlic. Chop cauliflower into florets and chop the stem into chunks.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, and garlic and sauté until spices are fragrant and onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower, split peas, cashews and vegetable stock. Increase the heat to high and bring pot to the boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes or until the split peas are tender and the cauliflower is falling apart.
  5. Remove soup from the heat and use a hand held (immersion) blender to purée soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place soup back on a low heat to keep warm. Chop the kernels from the corn and add to the soup. They will cook gently while you make the seed sprinkle.
  7. While the soup is simmering, make the spiced chickpea and seed sprinkle. Peel and thinly slice garlic. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan. Add chickpeas, and garlic and saute until garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Add seeds, spices, and sugar and sauté until golden, about 1 minute.
  8. Serve soup in deep bowls and top with spiced chickpea and seed sprinkle.

Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan

Big bowls of spice roasted vegetables paired with winter herb scented quinoa makes for a hearty, healthy and comforting winter dinner. This is my kind of two pan dinner for easy, healthy, winter dinners.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | VeganI’m not about winter. I’m not about the cold, the chapped lips, the running from my car to the gym and to my house just to be warm. I’m not about the drippy noses and pantyhose. I’m a born and raised Queenslander. Give me hot, humid, hairstyle-destroying days, long hours of bestial sunshine, and skies that turn black and crack with lightening, flooding rains that turn streets into rivers. But, given that I have yet to become a billionaire who can winter somewhere more appropriate (Hawaii? Southern California? South Coast of France?) I am learning to do winter.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeYes, I’m 28 years old and still learning how to do winter. To coax myself into ‘the cosy months’ I am layering my clothes; taking long walks in cheek-slapping winds under brilliant blue skies; snuggling in bed with a good book (or two) and my new leopard print pyjama pants (embrace that 80s tackiness); spending time finding the perfect skinny chai latte; and roasting all the vegetables.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWe’ve spoken before about my love for roasting vegetables at high temperatures until they surrender their starchiness to sweetness and become nature’s candy. That’s what roasted vegetables are folks, nature’s sweet candy. This recipe features sweet winter carrots, red capsicum, and onions roasted with warming spices until the spicy-sweet-savoury reaches the perfect tipping point – and you only need one sheet pan and one medium saucepan to create this hearty, healthy, winter meal.

This two-pan supper was inspired by my Dad who has a knack for creating delicious, savoury suppers in just one pot. He call’s them ‘The Bob Specials’. You never quite know what’s going to be in the pot, but once it has stewed and simmered for a while the results are always delicious. My recipe is filled with veggies, and chickpeas and my favourite winter spices and pairs perfectly with some fluffy rosemary and thyme flecked quinoa. This makes enough for two, but is easily doubled or tripled to feed your family, or provide leftovers for delicious healthy meals all week long.

Together, we are going to do winter right.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2-3 (easily multiplied) | Time: 40-45 minutes | Leftovers keep well for up to three days refrigerated in an airtight container

Make it for your meat lover: this bowl would go well with some roasted chicken breast, or even a crispy-skinned fillet of salmon.


  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 medium red capsicum
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 fat cloves garlic (or 4 skinny ones), crushed
  • 1 cup chickpeas (400 gram tin, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves


  1. Before starting the quinoa, preheat your oven to 200C (400F).
  2. Place quinoa and vegetable stock in a medium sized saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Place on stove over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Once the stock is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, and put the lid on the saucepan. Cook, without stirring, for 20 minutes. Then, remove from the heat and leave for 5 minutes before fluffing the grains with a fork.
  3. While your quinoa is cooking, line a baking sheet with aluminium foil.
  4. Top and tail carrots and dice into small chunks. Core and dice capsicum, and peel and dice onion. Place all vegetables on baking sheet. Drain and rinse chickpeas and place on baking sheet with vegetables.
  5. Drizzle over olive oil and sprinkle on crushed garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and use clean hands to thoroughly toss the vegetables to ensure they are covered in the oil and herbs.
  6. Roast vegetables and chickpeas in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until your carrots are soft all the way through.
  7. When the vegetables are done roasting, stir the chopped thyme and rosemary through the cooked quinoa.
  8. To serve: divide quinoa between serving bowls and top with roasted vegetables.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic-Thyme Millet | Vegan | Gluten Free

Creamy, curried pumpkin soup will keep out the autumn chills. My Curried Pumpkin Soup is heartily spiced, and the roasted garlic flavoured millet is the perfect compliment. This meal is healthy, hearty, easy to prepare, and the perfect way to warm up at the start of the season.

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Thyme Millet | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe first pot of pumpkin soup in autumn is a precious celebration in anticipation of what the season will bring. Autumn is the season of true bounty. We get the best of the final blush of summer – the ripest stone fruits, the sweetest final watermelon harvest, the juiciest tomatoes begging to be made into passata; and we also get the first harvest of the hardy fruits and vegetables that will see us through the cold winter months – creamy sweet potatoes, the crunchiest apples, sweet heavy grapes, and pretty smooth-skinned butternut pumpkins.

My Mum has made a version of this curried pumpkin soup since I was a child. Coming home from school on rainy winter days to a pot of gently bubbling soup and thickly buttered bread was a childhood delight, and something that still warms me down to my soul as an adult. Soup is pure comfort. And making soup from my Mum’s recipe is an extra layer of warmth. I know this soup is going to appear on our table frequently throughout the coming season. I have been coming home to leftovers of this soup since I made a big pot on the weekend. When I walk through the door, I know I am coming home to a bowl of comfort.

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Thyme Millet | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMum uses a curry powder mix, but when I ran out and was at home on a rainy Sunday craving this soup, I didn’t want to venture to the shops so I broke the mixture down to its essence and put my own twist on a family tradition. My soup is a little spicier than Mum’s owing to my inclusion of chili powder. If you don’t want the soup too spicy or you are serving it to little kids, you can leave out the chili powder and I can promise you the soup will still be just as flavoursome. The chili powder is joined by ground dried coriander, turmeric, cumin, garlic, and black pepper for a fragrant bouquet of flavours. Along with your spices, butternut pumpkin, carrots, and onion, and a good quality vegetable stock are all you need to create this soup for dinner tonight. The millet is a filling addition, and the roasted garlic and thyme add a soothing element to the spicy soup. If you don’t have or like millet you could use quinoa or rice to the same effect.

Get ready to snuggle up with your beloved and a bowl of soup, and rest happily in the comfort that these bowls are full of thoroughly nourishing ingredients that will keep you healthy all winter long. This soup is creamy, but there is no cream required: butternut pumpkins bring their own special creaminess when simmer low and slow. Millet, as we’ve spoken about before is a buttery ancient seed that provides good amounts of iron and other minerals. This soup is the healthy comfort food answer to lengthening autumn nights, long runs in the drizzle, and a craving for comfort.

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Thyme Millet | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic-Thyme Millet

Gluten Free | Vegan | Serves 4 generously | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for up to three days.
Reheat gently over a low heat, or in the microwave in short bursts


For the soup

  • 1 kg (2 pounds) butternut pumpkin
  • 2 medium brown onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons dried coriander
  • 3 teaspoons dried ground cumin seeds
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4-1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 4 cups reduced salt vegetable stock

For the millet

  • 1/2 head of garlic
  • 3/4 cup dried millet
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Peel and de-seed pumpkin and chop into cubes (about 2.5cm/1 inch). Peel and dice onion. Dice celery and carrot.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or stock pot over a medium heat. Add crushed garlic, onion, celery, carrot, turmeric, coriander, cumin, black powder, and chili powder. Saute until the onions are become clear and the spices are fragrant.
  3. Tumble in your pumpkin cubes and stir until everything is well mixed.
  4. Add vegetable stock and bring soup to the boil.
  5. Reduce to a simmer and cook until pumpkin is very soft and is disintegrating in the stock. This will take about an hour.
  6. While the pumpkin is cooking preheat your oven to 180C. Wrap garlic in aluminium foil and bake for 40-45 minutes or until cloves are softened. Allow to cool.
  7. Rinse millet and place in medium saucepan along with vegetable stock. Bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cover the saucepan with a lid. Allow to cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, stand for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Keep covered until ready to serve.
  8. Once soup is cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Use a stick blender to blend until smooth. Alternately you can puree this soup in a blender. WARNING: ALLOW SOUP TO COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE BLENDING. DO NOT BLEND HOT SOUP. Reheat over a low heat on the stove top.
  9. Mash roasted garlic together with fresh thyme and olive oil. Mix through millet.
  10. Ladle soup into bowls and top with spoonfuls of millet and extra fresh thyme if desired.

Curried Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Thyme Millet | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 – Week Twenty-Five

Right now I am sitting in a patch of winter sun after a walk along the bay. It’s a rather nineteenth century notion, but I do believe that ‘taking the air’ when you are sick can be of benefit. Even if just to relieve you of the cabin fever of being relegated to a comfy chair in the living room or curled up in bed under the covers watching re-runs of your favourite cooking shows. So, this morning, a walk it was. It gave me time to bathe in the glorious morning rays and reflect on what I have been grateful for this week. Now, I’m sharing it with you in this Thoroughly Nourished Life Gratitude List 2014 Week Twenty-Five:

Monday: Today I was grateful to finish work, go for a run, and then curl up under the covers with a big bowl of veggies for dinner. Chris and I watched the Game of Thrones season final. I am grateful to Chris for introducing me to this world of fantasy, dragons, and lady knights. I really must get back into reading the books again. I love the escape of the world George R. R. Martin has created.

Tuesday: Today we submitted a big report at work. I was grateful for the help of all the members of our team who helped to put it together so neatly. I was also grateful that we finished by 10.30am! No mad rush at the end of the day made for a good run at the gym and a delicious dinner with Chris.

Wednesday: Today after work I had some baking to do for a local cafe. I got home, made the cake and was resting on my laurels while we were relaxing in front of the television watching football when I realised that I had left the cake in the oven and overcooked it by about an hour! I was grateful for Chris’s grace under pressure when he took care of the clean up after I dropped the cake on the ground in my haste to remove it from its fiery grave. He calmed me down and then I got to work making another cake. Grateful for his calming presence in my life for sure.


Thursday: Today I came home from work exhibiting the delicious symptoms of bronchitis. So attractive. When I stepped through the door though I was greeted by a freshly cleaned house, candles burning and a big cuddle from Chris. I instantly felt better. I am grateful for these moments when I realise that we are both giving 100%.

Immunity smoothie

Friday: Today I didn’t wake up until after I was supposed to have been at work for an hour. Yep. Immune system failure (I do not get ‘sick’). I spent the day ‘taking to the bed’ before Chris and I went to Mum and Dad’s for dinner and a sleepover. I am grateful for parents who are friends as well. We laughed and teased each other, and I may have done a fish impersonation while wearing Dad’s new goggles (he’s going seal diving in New Zealand! So jealous).

Parsley, Chickpea, Avocado, and Greens Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Saturday: Today Mum, Jess and I went to the farmer’s markets and I stocked up on all the veggies to make me feel better. Big soups are coming. When I got home Chris surprised me with a lunch date at one of my favourite restaurants on the harbour! Then we went and checked on the progress of our townhouse. Nothing much to show yet, but I will share when I have more details. I am grateful that we are able to have our own little place in this world, even if it feels like it is taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r to build.

harbour lunch

Sunday: Today is my Aunty Lone’s birthday! Happy birthday Aunty Lone! I am grateful to have such a strong role model in you. My earliest memories of you include when we used to have sleepovers and I would prance around your house in your long silk nighties sipping from a (plastic) champagne glass and then fall asleep in your big soft bed. Love you.

Mum and Aunty Lone

Now, I am off to an afternoon tea birthday party to celebrate my Aunty (I’m bringing a double batch of these cookies), and to relax before work tomorrow. I hope you are all having a great weekend. Tell me what you’ve been up to this week? What have you been grateful for?

Also this week:

Roasted Shallot and Mushroom Risotto (gluten free)

I work with a gentleman who has a booming great laugh. When he is in a meeting room you can hear him across the office and through the walls. His laughter drowns out phone conversations. But I love it because it sounds like true mirth to me.

Did you know that as we grow up our laughter rates fall from about 400 times a day as a toddler to an average for adults of only 15 times per day? Not a very funny statistic at all in my opinion. The sound of a laugh is the precious, and I think in this often too serious world that we need to bring back some of the laughter.

Do you remember being younger and laughing more? I can think back to high school and walking home in the afternoons with my sister and friends and just laughing into the clear blue sky until I thought my cheeks would fall off. Who doesn’t want to feel that happiness again?

Roasted Shallot and Mushroom Risotto | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

And laughter has so many beneficial health effects too. According to WebMD, research has shown that laughter helps with: increased blood flow, better immune response, decreased blood sugar levels, and better relaxation and sleep. The Mayo Clinic takes it further revealing long term benefits of laughter such as pain relief and increased personal satisfaction. So, to live a thoroughly nourished life, we need to increase the amount of laughter we get in every day.

I am not an adult who is naturally buoyant, so I am lucky to have Chris in my life. He can see the fun and laughter in nearly any situation, and has a wide ranging appetite for comedic relief. We watch stand-up comics on television, satirical political shows, and send each other funny cartoons throughout the day. My Mum, Dad, and sister all take part in group emails where we share funny emails with each other too. I guess I might be over the average for adults then!

Roasted Shallot and Mushroom Risotto | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

This mushroom risotto was made on a wintery Tuesday night. A night where we had both stumbled home through the darkness (our porch light is defective) and wanted something that could be cradled in our hands while watching British comedy panel shows. By the end of the night tummies were filled and cheeks were hurting.

I’ve written of my love of risotto before, and this one is even easier to make on a weeknight after work because most of the work is done by the oven. While I love standing at the stove and stirring away my stress, sometimes I want to come home, roast some vegetables and put rice and liquid in the oven too. Thirty minutes later (or one glass of wine later) you combine the two and presto! Dinner is served. I have used Swiss brown mushrooms here as they have an earthier, more wintery taste to them. I also added a small splash of cognac, feel free to leave it out, but which adds a subtle background taste. If you cannot find shallots (look carefully in the onion section of the grocery store) then feel free to use two small purple onions.

Tell me dear reader, what makes you laugh?

Roasted Shallot and Mushroom Risotto | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Roasted Shallot and Mushroom Risotto

Adapted from this recipe at Taste | Serves 4 | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Make it vegan: leave out feta cheese at the end


  • 200 grams shallots (also called French shallots)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 400 grams Swiss brown mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 250 grams Arborio rice
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • Small bunch fresh parsley, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Peel brown skin from shallots, slice in half lengthways, and place on baking tray. Put tray into preheated oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  3. While the shallots are roasting. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over a high heat. Saute garlic, mushrooms and dried rosemary and thyme until mushrooms are soft.
  4. Add rice and cook until the grains are shiny and coated with the oil. About 1 minute.
  5. Add cognac and cook until the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Add stock and bring to the boil.
  7. Carefully spoon the rice mixture into a large ovenproof casserole dish and cover tightly with lid or aluminium foil.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes covered, then remove lid and cook for a further 10 minutes or until rice is softened but still firm to the bite and liquid has been absorbed.
  9. Remove from oven and stand aside for 5 minutes.
  10. Remove shallots from oven and remove any burnt pieces.
  11. Stir shallots, parsley and feta into risotto.

Serve with a side of laughter.

Roasted Shallot and Mushroom Risotto | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Oat and Apple Pancakes with Stewed Apple

Sunday was one of those quietly blessed days. The sky was a bright blue glass dome and the sunshine was a water-colour stripe across our sunroom floor. We slept easily and well as the sun crept into our bedroom and lit the walls and the wind brushed the leaves of the tree outside against the window panes. We rose, we pottered around and introduced ourselves into the world on that bright cold morning. We escaped from the thickening crowds and entertained ourselves inside our own four walls for the remainder of the day. I stayed close to the stove all day. Warming my body and warming my soul with old favourites and new ideas. It was a simple kind of day. It was a deeply enriching simplicity where you realise that all you have right now is all you really need to make you happy and nourished forever if only you remember to look through the eyes of gratitude.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI dreamed of these pancakes all week and Sunday felt like a brunch day. Too late home from an early morning errand to be breakfast and too sweet and cake-like to be called lunch. I whisked together the batter, waited patiently for each pancake to bubble and be flipped and then wait for its siblings to join it in the plate to keep warm. I listened to Edith Piaf and Dean Martin and padded across the wooden floors on bare, cool feet. A gift of apples from a friend-in-passing became the caramelised topping for the substantial but fluffy pancakes. When all was complete I curled up in a sun-washed chair and devoured my oat and apple pancakes. I looked out across the bay and realised that my heart was calm, my mind was completely in the moment: I felt thoroughly nourished.

These are thick, cake-y pancakes. Hearty, winter morning pancakes for mornings where you linger in a sunny spot with a book and a pot of tea. They are filled with all the best winter things: oats, apples, cinnamon and stand up very well to reheating for an afternoon snack (or second breakfast helping). They also do well when cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored in the freezer. Perfect for those extra lazy winter mornings, or for a lunch box friendly snack. These Oat and Apple Pancakes are perfect for cooking with children, and you can even make the batter the night before and leave in the fridge overnight. Then all you need to do is heat the pan and cook them in the morning. The stewed apples are worthy of multiplying. Any leftovers are delightful reheated for dessert topped with a scoop of ice cream or some thick Greek yoghurt.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Oat and Apple Pancakes

Gluten Free. Makes 8 large pancakes.

Ensure your quick oats are gluten free. I used Freedom Foods Free Oats. I topped mine with stewed apples, you may wish to add a dollop of thick yoghurt, some golden syrup, or for extra indulgence, some ice cream.


  • 80 grams almond meal
  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 70 grams buckwheat flour
  • 70 grams quick oats
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup greek/natural yoghurt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 medium apple, grated
  • Stewed apples to serve, recipe below


  1.  In a medium size bowl whisk together almond meal, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, quick oats, cinnamon, gluten free baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together yoghurt, milk, eggs, vanilla and brown sugar until well combined. Gently stir in apple.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add apple mixture. Whisk until just incorporated.
  4. Heat a non-stick heavy bottomed frying pan over medium heat and add a little olive oil or butter to grease the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add approximately 1/4 cup of batter to the pan. You may have to spread the mixture out a little in a circular shape. Cook until bubble appear on the surface of the batter, about two minutes, once most of the bubbles have popped, flip pancake over and cook for another two minutes on the other side.
  6. Transfer pancake to a plate and keep covered while you repeat with the remaining batter. You may be able to cook more than one pancake at a time depending on the size of your frying pan.
  7. To serve, top with with stewed apples and other toppings if desired.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Stewed Apples

This recipe is easily multiplied. I suggest making at least a double batch. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to two days.


  • 1 medium apple, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons golden syrup
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Place over a low heat and cook, covered until apple is soft.
  2. Uncover and cook until juices have thickened slightly. Serve with pancakes.

Apple and Oat Pancakes | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup

The act of making soup in the middle of the week is a perfect relaxant, no drugs required. Even though a bowl of hearty nourishing soup can take just 45 minutes from chopping board to table you feel like you have accomplished a task that should have taken all day. We are just recovering from the shock of going back to work after two long weekends back-to-back – serendipitous events of the calendar happen every now and again – and that shock requires soothing, seemingly labour-intensive-but-not-really recipes to help us sink back into the rhythm of the week.

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Vegan | Gluten Free

When I saw this easy spicy carrot soup recipe while paging through a neglected cookbook that has now found itself shuffled over to the cottage by the bay I knew I had the perfect back-to-work dinner recipe. All the ingredients were in the cupboard already and I had only to chop and sauté for a few moments before I could leave the pot bubbling away merrily to itself. A shower and change out of my running clothes, and a welcome home kiss for Chris later and the soup was thick and ready to be ladled generously into bowls and be anointed with a final drizzle of coconut milk. In the dark of the night in our little house we slurped and dipped and nourished ourselves with conversation and spicy sweet soup. Every day is like a weekend when you share a meal with the one you love.

This Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup is thick and slightly chunky, layered with spices, and slightly sweetened by light coconut milk. It comes together in barely the time it takes to unpack the groceries. Once you have softened the onions and leeks you add the rest of the ingredients and let it simmer away. Thirty minutes later you add the coconut milk, ladle the soup into your favourite bowls, and serve with an extra drizzle of coconut milk and maybe some toast (or bacon as Chris enjoyed his). Then, enjoy.

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Vegan | Gluten Free

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup

Adapted from Delicious: Home Cooking by Valli Little

Vegan. Gluten Free. Serves 4 generously.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped
  • 2 leeks (white parts only), chopped
  •  5 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder (I used Keen’s)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk, plus extra to serve


  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and leek and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes until the onion is softened but not colouring.
  2. Add carrots, garlic, spices, tomato paste, lentils, and vegetable stock. Stir well.
  3. Bring soup to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. When the carrot is well softened and the tender red lentils have broken down the soup is ready. I mashed mine slightly with a potato masher, you can use a stick blender to purée to a smooth consistency, but I like my soup a little chunky and textured.
  5. Stir through coconut milk and ladle into bowls. Drizzle over extra coconut milk to serve.
  6. The leftovers will keep for 2 days covered in the refrigerator. Reheat well before eating.

Curried Carrot, Lentil, and Coconut Soup | Thoroughly Nourished Life | Vegan | Gluten Free

Random Thoroughly Nourished Family story: When my mother was born the doctor thought she was jaundiced because she was orange all over; however, it turns out it was actually carotenaemia caused by my grandmother’s insatiable appetite for carrots while she was pregnant. Or so the family legend goes. The result of this incident is that my mother now refuses to eat any orange vegetables: pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots – anything that lies on the spectrum between red and yellow is not on her menu. Except pumpkin soup (secretly I think this is because it is an excuse to eat lots of bread and butter all in the name of ‘dipping’…this may be genetic…).

Brain Food Friday

Friday is here again! With two big deadlines at work this week life has been about writing, editing, proofreading, editing again, and more proofreading. So, there hasn’t been a lot of time for taking photos of food! I am hoping to do some food-type nourishing over the weekend – Father’s Day is always a great time to conjure a deliciously decadent breakfast for my hardworking and big-hearted Dad, which I will share the results of next week (after the ‘official taste testers’ have deemed it suitable for the blog).

Between draining my brain with misplaced “‘that’s and ‘which’s”, and fighting to align columns correctly I have made time to nourish it with some interesting reading (the second-best type of lunchtime refuelling). I thought that this Friday afternoon I would share some of these links with you in case you are in want of good weekend reading, you know, when the newspaper just isn’t enough.

Planting more of these on the weekend

Planting more of these on the weekend

Our Brisbane winter season ended very abruptly last week and we are now well into strong spring weather, which of course has me thinking about summer and in particular – summer produce! While my family doesn’t belong to a CSA we do shop for our fruit and vegetables at the local farmer’s market and strawberry farm. Some weeks I buy way too much and I hate wasting produce that people have worked so hard to grow. This Greatist article on using up summer vegetables is sure to come in handy over the next few months.

While we are on the subject of summer food, Martha Stewart is supplying tantalising summer grilling recipes to my inbox in quantities that have me itching to break out the barbecue and big jugs of sangria already. This French potato salad from Martha is particularly calling my name – I love with Dijon mustard.

As a late-comer to my own Arts degree, I can see the intrinsic worth this field of study has had in my own life, so I was reassured to read articles railing against the current decline in universities offering English majors. I particularly loved Adam Gopnik’s article and this line

‘We cannot merely produce goods and services as efficiently as we can, sell them to each other as cheaply as possible, and die. Some idea of symbolic purpose, of pleasure-seeking rather than rent seeking, of Doing Something Else, is essential to human existence.’

I truly believe that we are not whole as people, as nations, as a species unless we have something to offer one another, and ourselves, apart from the material. Christina Paxson offers more on the economic case for the humanities and in the summary of her article talks about Horace Mann

‘Horace Mann, trained in the humanities, was instrumental in creating the public school system of the United States. He knew that a broad, secular education, open to all, was one of the foundations of our democracy, and that is was impossible to expect meaningful citizenship without offering people the tools to inform themselves about all of the great questions of life.’

To be truly human, to be truly fulfilled and willing and able to reach out in service and stand up to fight, we must be trained in how to question, and how to think.

(source - Taste.com)

(source – Taste.com)

And finally, just one more food link. This bright and beautiful Mint and Chilli Haloumi with Roast Vegetable Salad (see that photo above – yum!) caught my eye yesterday. Perfect for putting some spring into the end of winter’s produce.

Tell me, dear readers, how will you be nourishing yourself this weekend?
In addition to father’s day there are movie and dinner dates planned, and some running – it’s nearly training season again!

Happy Friday everyone.