Roasted Root Vegetable Soup With Cumin, Thyme and Rosemary


One of the great things about being money-poor and time-rich in this part of the world is that you get to spend a lot of time cooking with fresh, tasty, seasonal foods. Doing it when there’s an internet about means you’re also never short of inspiration!

These days, ’round these parts, you can pick up a bag of parsnips, a great big turnip, or a bag of carrots for around 50c, and spuds are €1 a kilo. I don’t know about you, but in my world that means one thing: soup time!

Here’s what I’m making now. It’s ridiculously easy to make and incredibly adaptable- just substitute the veggies and herbs for whatever you’ve got around that looks like it’d be delicious.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup with Cumin, Thyme and Rosemary

The soup is delicious. And the blog has moved house! Pop over to the new page and cook up something nomtastic. 

P1020306

Lunch! Toasty quinoa with raisins and almonds. Yum!


As some of you may know, a few weeks ago I moved house. In the process of moving house it became clear to me that while I am by no means a rich or wealthy person, I appear to have become someone who is the proud owner of an abundance of quinoa, and only a vague idea of what to do with it. Luckily, I am also a person with access to an astonishing repository of information at my very fingertips, so with a bit of googling, poking around in the cupboard and taking some inspiration from a recipe or three online, I ended up with this:

Almondy raisiney quinoa

Stupendously Tasty Toasted Almondey Raisiney Quinoa

As for how to make it? Well, nice that you asked! Since I can’t quite remember the precise amounts, so I’m going to go with the Dollop scale, instead of metric or imperial.

  • You’ll need some quinoa, a stock cube or so, some almonds (possibly other nuts like hazelnuts might be nice instead?), some dried fruit, a weensy bit of oil and a bunch of your favourite sweet spices.
  • You get a decent bit of quinoa- a handful or so, depending on how hungry you are- and soak it for about 15 minutes in cold water. Ten, if you’re in a hurry or hungry.
  • Put the kettle on and make up a few cups of stock- enough for your quinoa.
  • In the meantime, pop a bunch of flaked almonds* into a pan with a weensy bit of oil. Get ’em good and toasty- toast ’em till they’re lovely and golden and smell like toasted almonds. Take the almonds out of the pan.
  • Drain the quinoa, and pop it into the pan with just the water that remains in it, as well as a generous shake of whatever sweet spices you have lying around. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and/or cardamom are lovely for this. You might fancy throwing in a bit of ginger while you’re at it. Whatever seems tasty to you. Have fun! Toast the quinoa like this until it seems toasty enough. Then pour in the stock and a good handful of raisins. Or whatever other dried fruit you have. I had raisins. I think that dried dates and apricots would be yummy as well.
  • When it’s cooked, mix in the almonds. Then eat up!

I had it today with some chilled chopped carrots and sugarsnap peas, and a generous handful or two of the spinach, watercress and rocket salad you get at Tesco. The chopped carrots and peas were too delicious to be sullied with a dressing. For the salad, I made up something involving honey, ginger and lemon juice. It was.. okay, but not spectacular. I’m still a novice at making dressings, since I was only recently converted to eating green stuff. But the rest of it? Awesome.

*I didn’t have flaked almonds so I made some out of whole almonds. It was perfectly lovely, and also it is very fun, if a tiny bit messy, to bash almonds with a meat tenderiser. Then I remembered that I did, in fact, have flaked almonds after all.