Easy creamy cauliflower soup

Take the chill out of your bones with this meal.

Take the chill out of your bones with this meal.

I know that Winter is technically over but, if you are unlucky fortunate enough to live in chilly Melbourne, where the cold weather can drag on, you are probably still looking for meals that will warm you from your head to your cute little toes. (Actually, scrap that last part – toes are weird-looking creatures. Always.)

Cauliflowers are in season right now, and I’m a big believer in seasonal eating. That is, eating what is currently growing in your area, rather than food that has been grown in some far-flung country and shipped to you in cold store. Eating seasonally and, hence, locally, helps to ensure your diet is varied, supports your local economy, helps the environment and keeps you connected to your food. It’s completely crazy that we can buy asparagus any day of the year! This is an area where we can vote with our dollar and it will count. If the big guns, like Coles and Safeway, notice that we aren’t buying oranges that come all the way from California, they’ll stop importing them, and start supporting local farmers instead. OK, rant over (for now).

This cauliflower soup is the perfect meal for when you are looking for something that ticks all of the boxes: quick, tasty, nutritious and cheap. It only requires 10 minutes to chop the veggies (15 if you are a slowly-does-it kind of chopper) and 30-40 minutes of simmering, depending on how finely you chop everything up.

The Ingredients*

  • 1 whole cauliflower
  • 1 parsnip
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. vegetable stock powder
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Enough water to cover everything
  • 1/2 cup of milk (I used quinoa and chia seed milk, which added a nice flavour, but any type will work)

* Makes five serves.

The Method

  • Saute the onion and garlic in the coconut oil
  • Throw in the rest of the veggies, the stock powder and the water
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30-40 minutes
  • Let it cool for a few minutes before blending it up
  • Put the soup back on a low heat and stir in the milk
  • Season to taste

I froze the leftover soup in containers so that I can grab it out during the week for quick work lunches. It’s the soup that keeps on giving.

Enjoy!

Laura

 

I just discovered quinoa porridge. (Alternate title: I think I’m in breakfast love!)

Quinoa porridge with berries and almonds. Yummo!

Quinoa porridge with berries and almonds. Yummo!

Quinoa is another of those things that seemed to burst onto the health scene all of a sudden, which means we would be forgiven for thinking this a newly discovered seed (yep, it might look like a grain but it’s actually not); however, it has been eaten in some parts of the world for thousands of years.

While we might be a bit slow to the game here in Australia, we have made up for our tardiness by wholeheartedly embracing this little seed. And I’m doing my bit to help.

I have been experimenting with quinoa for a few months: using it as the base for quiche (just soak it for an hour, mix in an egg and line your tray with it), as a side dish for my vegie curries, or simply mixing it with some vegies and spices like cumin and tumeric. Until today, though, I hadn’t tried it as porridge.

I’m a breakfast girl. Always have been. There’s no better way to start the day than by sitting down to a healthy and delicious meal that I know is going to nourish my body and give me energy for the day to come. Because of this love of mine, I can’t quite believe it has taken me this long to get around to trying quinoa flakes for breakfast. Anyway, I got there eventually. Better late than never, right?

Given that I am currently visiting my parents in the chilly north-east region of Victoria, I figured this morning was the perfect time to give quinoa porridge a go. I was delighted at how easy it is! To make the bowl pictured above (there’s a funny story about that photo, which I’ll tell you in a minute), I just combined two cups of almond milk and one cup of quinoa flakes in a saucepan, then added a tablespoon of melted coconut oil. While it was bubbling away on the stove, I chopped up some almonds and defrosted a quarter of a cup of frozen mixed berries. I then tipped the porridge into a bowl and sprinkled the almonds and berries on top. Told you: easy.

I highly recommend giving quinoa porridge a try for breakfast if you are looking for an alternative to regular oats, or you need some extra protein, or you’re just plain old human. It really is that good.

Oh, I almost forgot! Funny story. I was feeling pretty happy with how visually appealing the dish looked because, hey, I’m no food photographer. As I was checking out my mad berry-arranging skills, I somehow lost all ability to use these opposable thumbs I was blessed to be born with and, guys, I DROPPED MY PHONE INTO THE PORRIDGE. Like, straight into the bowl.

I think I’ll be trying to get quinoa out of the headphone jack for the next week.

Laura