Sweet potato & jerusalem artichoke soup w/ anice & roasted quinoa

Today I am going to talk a little bit about that old-fashioned medium called radio. And more specifically, about podcasts. I just love how radio forces you to focus and to concentrate on what people are saying. Recently I really enjoyed listening to Beth Kirby talking with Pure Green Podcast's Celine Mackay. 

They discussed topics like styling, Beth's true love Matthew, and the art of slow living. I guess most of you have heard of Beth's blog: Local Milk. One of the best there is. She explained how her gorgeous photos are the result of careful styling. Beth doesn't want people to think that what they see on Instagram or on her blog is the life she is really living. Her styling and the photography are about taking time to appreciate the little things. "The end game is that someone bakes, buys flowers, makes tea, or takes a trip. To make that extra effort. My visual stories are designed to inspire actions that improve the quality of life just a little bit." Doesn't that sound like the definition of a perfect job description?!

Beth also talks about slow living. Slow living has become such a buzzword, a hype. But Beth, who works all day every day, manages to describe it in a way I totally get. "Slow living means something different than most people think when they hear it. Yes, it involves leisurely moments, taking time, not let life push you so hard that their isn't time left to enjoy it. It is about pushing back, and read that book, pet your cat, bake that bread. It is about saying NO to a lot of things." 

But it is more than that, Beth says. "To me, slow living is about the core idea that good things take time. That you are willing to invest that time into the work you want to create. Whether that's food, or photography, or making any sort of object. It's a lot of time, effort, and energy going into making great things."

In other words: it's about the steps, the process, the experience.

As you can see, this podcast really touched me. What she says makes sense. It helps me be patient as a blogger and it motivates me to keep evolving, to keep investing. Maintaining a blog like this is a LOT OF WORK. I am very grateful, but it doesn't come easy. Especially when you have a day time job most days of the week. But it is fine, because I can be proud at the end of the day, looking at what I've created. The food, the words, the photography. So thank you Beth, for sharing. And thank all of you too, for reading and tagging along! 

I've got some more favorite podcasts for you:

- First We Eat: Eva & Carey know best how to talk about delicious dishes, food history, and their amazing workshops (next summer I will help out during one, counting the days haha).

- Gilmore Guys: for all you girls and guys who adore Lorelai & Rory! 

- Spilled Milk: This food related podcast by Molly (from the lovely blog Orangette) and Matthew will make you laugh and hungry. 

- This American Life: Ira Glass proves time and again that storytelling is an art.

- Serial: A This American Life spin-off. I haven't listened to it yet but I heard so many good things, and now there's a second season. So this will be my new project!

Sweet potato & jerusalem artichoke (a.k.a sunroot) soup with nice & roasted quinoa

(serves 4)

You need:

0.5 kg/ 1 lb jerusalem artichoke/sunroots, peeled & diced
1 large sweet potato (about 2 cups), peeled & diced
1 yellow onion, peeled & chopped finely
4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
2 anice stars
1/4 cup dry white wine such as a Chardonnay
1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
1.5 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup oat milk
1 tsp brown cane sugar
Salt & pepper, to taste

For the topping (inspired by this recipe)

1/2 cup quinoa, soaked for a few minutes
Grated nutmeg
Shaved hazelnuts
Cilantro, chopped finely

How to make it:

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat the cut and peeled sunroofs with coconut oil and maple syrup. Roast for 15 minutes. Set aside

2. Place a large knob of coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium high heat. Add onion and cook for about 8 minutes. Stir every now and then. 

3. Add the sweet potato, sunroots, anice & bay leaves. Cook for another 5 minutes. Keep stirring. Pour the white wine into the pan and combine. 

4. After a few minutes, add the vegetable stock and stir well. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Cook 10 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered.

5. Pour the milk into the pan, add the sugar and mix. Remove the nice stars & bay leaves. Transfer to a blender, leave the small cap open and cover with a towel. Blend until smooth.

6. Transfer back to the pan, reheat on low fire, add salt and pepper to taste. 

7. Meanwhile prepare the topping. Rinse the soaked quinoa and drain well. Heat in a small frying pan on low fire. Swirl the pan every now and then and wait until the quinoa starts to brown a little and you hear a popping sound. 

8. Combine in a bowl with the cilantro and hazelnuts. Sprinkle on top of the soup. Enjoy! Covered, the soup keeps well in the fridge for 2 days.

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