Where on Earth am I? I have woken up thinking that question each day for about two weeks now. As I type this post rugged up in my robe and slippers, watching the misty rain fall over the gold-speckled-fall trees, I know I am nowhere else in the world but London.
Ever since returning from New York, unpacking and re-packing and heading to Australia, I have been so confused as to where I am each morning. We went to Australia for my best friends' wedding, held a baptism for our daughter, and for some family time with my in-laws as it was my father-in-law's 70th Birthday. We went from Brisbane to the Hunter Valley, to the Sunshine Coast and back to Brisbane. We did a lot. And missed a lot too. It's hard enough hoofing ourselves around the country trying to catch up with our nearest and dearest, but add a one year old to that mix and it is nigh impossible!
But, we are back in London now and trying to get back into the groove of normal life and of normal sleep (it's only been a day, so I'm not expecting miracles just yet). Jetlag for an adult is tough, but jetlag for a wee babe is so frustrating. So far Baby M has been okay, but she's not getting through the night without waking (quite possibly wondering where on Earth she is too...) and so the household is a little bit tired. I know from a lot of experience though now, that it takes a baby 5 days to get readjusted to a new timezone, and as we are only on day 2, I can't be complaining just yet.
Over the past two months of travel, the number of special occasions and catch up's over "coffee" was astronomical (and delicious). I of course have some food blogs to come, and a few other little posts to write about the baptism and wedding, but in the mean time, I need me some veggies!!! I love eating all the food we've been missing from Australia, but after another two weeks of indulgence, I just want to sit down to a plate of vegetables. Plate, or bowl.
Yesterday I made a huge pot of soup to see us through the next few nights of dinners. It tastes like health.It is warm and filling and just perfect for this glorious fall weather. I normally don't like the Autumnal months all that much, because usually I just see them as gearing up for the long cold and dark winter ahead. But, having had summer in the UK, New York and Australia, I've had my dose of Vitamin D and I'm ready for some scarf and soup weather again.
(in rough quantities, you may prefer differing amounts)
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 brown onion, chopped
1 orange and 1 red capsicum (peppers), yep you guessed it, chopped
1/2 cup - 1 cup quinoa (I put 1 cup but it was quite thick)
4-6 cups stock of choice (I used chicken stock, but veggie would work well too)
Chilli flakes or fresh chillies if you'd prefer
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Add a dash of oil to a pot and add the onions, garlic, celery, capsicum and carrot and sautee for five minutes.
2. Add the stock, tomatoes, chickpeas, quinoa and some coriander to the pot and let it boil for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the quinoa from sticking.
3. The soup is ready when the quinoa is translucent and fluffy, and you should be able to pierce the carrot and it be nice and soft (but not falling apart). At this point add the chilli flakes (I used about 1/2 a teaspoon) and some more coriander along with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust these ingredients until it meets your desired flavour.
Serve hot and enjoy a little bit of a food cuddle. Sometimes we all need a little cuddle of the food variety!