Rice Noodle Soup With Vegetables and Roasted Chickpeas

I admire anyone who can get through the winter without having soup at least once. I am dismayed by abrupt days, the onset of darkness at 4 o’clock and trying to find a compromise between dressing like a burrito and sacrificing my comfort for the sake of fashion. Some of my family members may like to swim in frozen ponds, but I certainly won’t be joining them any time soon (read: in my entire existence).

Vegan rice noodle soup with roasted chickpeas

Winter, overall, is a time of contrasts. In December, Christmas lights spark an internal fire to shield you against sub zero temperatures. January is a serene month characterised by reflection and adjustment to the rhythm of the new year, while February allows us to embrace the last remnants of winter while knowing that spring is right around the corner. Bleakness and joy interlace everywhere. You may have to brace yourself against the cold each time you step through a door leading to the external world, or if you are like me – accept that your organisational skills need sharpening when you misplace your umbrella four times in a country which is stereotyped by rainy winters. In response, a drive to create more ‘hygge’ in our lives appears throughout society.

Vegan noodle soup

For many of us, however, tight schedules render intricate candle-lighting rituals and bubble baths an occasional luxury. As a consequence, we must search for simplicities that nonetheless paint our winters in warmer hues: reading a book on the sofa, visiting a new coffee shop, going for a run in the early morning and increasing your body temperature to a comfortable equilibrium. Another technique, however, can be summarised in four letters. Soup. With many foods having acquired a borderline cult of personality on social media (think avocado, smoothie bowls, pancakes), soup deserves much broader recognition for its qualities, despite being less photogenic than a colourful bowl of porridge. 

Vegan rice noodle soup recipe

Vegan noodle soup recipe

I recall frequently eating soups when I was younger, losing interest during my early teenage years before rediscovering my love over the last couple of months , since I decided to up the creativity of my cooking. Firstly, soups are easy to make, and do not demand unremitting attention: you can easily do something else as they simmer away. Secondly, they carry an abundance of health benefits, in particular when a medley of spices and vegetables is involved. And last but not least, on certain days nothing can beat a steaming plate of warmth served with a thick slice of bread, especially as fifty percent of the nation seems to be fighting some fort of cold at that given moment.

Vegan soup with noodles and chickpeas

This soup is peppery, comforting and fragrant, with the noodles helping to soak up the flavours and the vegetables releasing a wholesome, earthy aroma. The chickpeas add an irresistible crunch and deliver a serving of protein – in fact, their versatility and general deliciousness makes them one of my favourite plant based protein sources alongside other varieties of beans. So, yeah, chances are I will still be eating this even as winter gives way to warmer seasons while in my usual contradictory fashion, neglecting smoothie bowls until September. Let me know in the comments if you choose to give this recipe a go!

Vegan soup with vegetables

Rice noodle soup with vegetables and roasted chickpeas

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This protein-packed, vegan and nutritious soup makes for a comforting dinner or an easy lunch on a cold day.

Vegan soup with noodles and chickpeas


Credit: whatismaria.com

Ingredients

  • 1 can (400g) canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 120g baby button mushrooms
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 4-5 medium vine tomatoes
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4.5-5 cups vegetable stock (see note 1)
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 150g white rice noodles
  • 10-12 zucchini ribbons (see note 2)
  • large handful of chopped kale

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees C/ 392 F. Distribute chickpeas over a lightly greased baking tray, covering in the agave nectar and the paprika. Roast in the oven for around 20-25 minutes, until golden and crispy.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your vegetables. Finely dice the bell pepper and the onion, cut the carrot into thin strips and chop the mushrooms in accordance with your preference. Spray the bottom of a large saucepan with some cooking spray and add the mushrooms and the onions. Stir over a high heat for around 2-3 minutes, before adding the carrot, the pepper and the tomato paste. Stir for a further 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent.
  3. Add the vine tomatoes and press down to release the juices. Keep stirring for a further minute.
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock alongside the soy milk, the ginger powder, the chilli powder, the curry powder, the soy sauce, the tamarind paste and the black pepper. Bring to a boil, before lowering the heat and simmering for around 5-7 minutes.
  5. Add in the rice noodles and keep simmering for a further 5 minutes (or until the noodles are cooked), stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and stir in the zucchini ribbons and kale.
  6. Divide between serving bowls and sprinkle with the roasted chickpeas, fresh red onions and more black pepper/sea salt if desired.

Note 1: add more if it starts to get too thick for your liking, but I personally don’t like my soups to be too watery!

Note 2: to make these, simply use a vegetable peeler to cut off wide, thin strips from the zucchini.

Vegan noodle soup with vegetables and roasted chickpeas

Lots of love, Maria ♡

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The Constraints of the Online World

Before we jump into this blog post, I would just like to apologise once again for my absence. I’ve had an unexpectedly busy couple of weeks and have had no time to sit down, write posts and edit photos, but now that my schedule is much more flexible I am excited to not only get back to posting on a regular basis, but also catching up with all of your blogs!

Blogging niche

Anyway, while I have been away I thought a lot about blogging and where I want my blog to go in the future, as well as some of the things that many bloggers struggle with despite all of the positives that come out of being in this community. One of these struggles, and one of the questions every blogger undoubtedly asks themselves, is whether or not to have a niche.

Continue reading “The Constraints of the Online World”

Exercise Addiction: The Dark Side of Fitness

With my hands covered in blisters and talcum powder, achy joints despite being aged fifteen, and thought racing through my head, I sit and cry in the gym changing rooms. The world is ending. Despite exercising for two hours straight, I didn’t work hard enough. Not enough sweat, not enough calories burnt. Now, my mum is offering to pick me up from the gym so we can stop by Pizza Express on the way home, which implies walking 8.75km instead of the minimum daily goal of 10.9, and eating unknown calories. ‘I can’t, I have homework,’ I text back, despite knowing the evening will be spent doing jumping squats in my room, not preparing for an upcoming Physics test.

This was the reality of exercise addiction for me, a disorder which isn’t recognised by the DSM5 but impacts around 3% of those who exercise on a daily basis. Prior to acquiring a positive relationship with fitness, it overwhelmed my life and nearly ended it. I want to speak about this issue because while anorexia is frequently discussed on the internet and in the media, exercise addiction (which often, though not always, accompanies another eating disorder) is seldom mentioned. The obesity epidemic, and the tendency of the majority of the population to neglect exercise rather than overdo it, explains this yet countless anecdotes emphasise the relevance of excessive exercise in our society.

Exercise Addiction recovery
It has taken a lot of effort to find balance, but every ounce was worth it.

Honestly, I struggled with starting this blog post without tearing up. Overcoming the addiction was perhaps the hardest thing I had to do, and back then I believed it would kill me before I’d scrambled back to balance. I will attempt to keep this coherent, ensuring the post raises awareness, outlines my story, and helps anyone whose relationship with exercise is less than optimal, but I cannot promise the absence of garble due to the emotive nature of the topic involved!

So, what is exercise addiction?  Continue reading “Exercise Addiction: The Dark Side of Fitness”

My Morning Routine 2017: Healthy but Realistic

I understand the appeal of continuously hitting the snooze button and hauling yourself out of bed fifteen minutes before you’re supposed to leave. I understand the appeal of skipping breakfast (but at the same time I don’t, because honestly, the first thing I think about when I wake up is food #noshame). However, given that you’re able to fall asleep at a reasonable time, allowing yourself plenty of space each morning to pursue a routine can help with emotional wellbeing enormously, given how much you can adapt and tailor this to your own personality and preferences.

The routine aspect is important. I’ve been an early riser for many years, and a lover of mornings, but as of recent I’ve managed to create a list of things to fill those extra hours that are much more mindful, more energising than an aimless scroll through Instagram. Okay, the Instagramming is still there, but I try to make it constructive&controlled.

Honesty is important to this blog, so I am not going to sit here and say that I run half a marathon, get in my five a day, exfoliate my entire body and write a best-selling novel all before the clock strikes 7. The routine outlined below is realistic and works well for me, helping establish the foundations for a successful day without burning me out: a balance I worked hard on finding. Mornings do not have to be intense. However, a structure can bring many benefits, such as mental clarity and a productive approach to the day’s endeavours.

As a little disclaimer, I do not follow these steps every day. I adjust them in accordance with how I feel as flexibility is a value I will always abide to. However, an outline helps enormously in saving me from a feeling of disarray, a cluelessness regarding what to do with myself upon awakening, which carries a risk of spilling into the succeeding hours.

So, here is an overview of a typical morning in the life of Maria:

I wake up anywhere between 5 and 6:30, depending on when I must leave. The next five to ten minutes are dedicated to something which grounds me in the external world, ready to meet whatever challenges may arise. I avoid all technology and social media during this time, because stepping into the digital realm as soon as I open my eyes can disconnect me from my surroundings and lead to a sense of ‘drifting’ through the rest of the day, as opposed to engaging with it. If you haven’t tried it yet, I would recommend practicing mindfulness in the early hours: just pay attention to how your body is feeling, what signals its sending you, what emotions you’re experiencing. Sometimes, I do some reading, or sit with my cat and watch the skies lighten. Continue reading “My Morning Routine 2017: Healthy but Realistic”

Why I Stopped Wearing (heavy) Makeup.

Now, a post like this has to be prefaced by an emphasis on the fact that it outlines my experience and intends no disrespect towards make-up/those who wear it/particular brands. I still love reading beauty blogs and have by no means gone makeup free: in the pictures featured on this post I am wearing mascara and lipstick, and have a foundation routine for special occasions. Highlighter is still the perfect trick for whenever my face appears a bit two-dimensional. Yet, my current look is a significant change from the start of 2017. My everyday routine used to take an hour or more (as opposed to 0-15 minutes nowadays), included everything from contouring and Instagram eyebrows to layering three different lipsticks. So, why did I make this change and go from carrying out every YouTube tutorial on my face each morning to something a little bit (a lot) more lowkey?
Continue reading “Why I Stopped Wearing (heavy) Makeup.”

My Vegan Transition

Hi everyone! As you can tell, this post encompasses a huge part of my life: veganism and eating a plant-based diet, which my one year anniversary on the lifestyle encouraged me to write. I don’t remember my first completely meat – free day, but I know it was in early September 2015 and I still can’t quite believe that I’m doing something most people can’t fathom – because #mmmbacon (the sarcasm is strong, lol) and I’ve found it unbelievably easy. The hardest part is not whipping out my anger management issues whenever that avalanche of questions rolls towards me every time I tell someone I’m vegan (‘Where do you get your protein?’ ‘I don’t understand how you can give up cheese’ ‘But…but…lions eat meat!’). I’m not making this post to be super preachy and propagandise veganism (perhaps another time, hehe). I want to talk about my personal journey: what finally made me turn vegan and kinda how I did it. I will try and keep this short and sweet however as I have a tendency to ramble, a part two could present itself as a possibility.

Continue reading “My Vegan Transition”