Winter Vegetable Soup

Sweet and spicy root vegetable soup with barley and pasta served with a coriander cashew cream and garlic bread.

The storm is over but this cold weather won’t let up and flu season feels like a year at this point so I’ve got the perfect soup recipe to get you through this last bit of winter.

This recipe is great if you’re feeling under the weather because it’s packed with hearty and nutrient-dense vegetables, grains and spices and uses my favourite cooking technique: chop, chuck and leave. Pro tip: it tastes even better if you get someone to make it for you 😉


The best thing about making soup is that you can use up all the leftover vegetables you’ve got lying around and can throw in pretty much any mixture of herbs and spices and little will go wrong. This particular combination is packed with flavour and if you’re ill and can’t taste anything then you will still be able to detect the sweetness and the spiciness from the pepper and ginger will help to clear your airways.

I also made a cashew cream to dollop on top with the leftover coriander and parsley to add a bit of richness and to cut into the spicy flavour. And of course, you can’t have soup without bread so I found an easy way to make garlic bread at home.


Prep: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Equipment: high speed/immersion blender, a really big pot

Serves: 6-8 (only 3 people live in our house I don’t know why I cook this much)




1 large Baking potato
1 large Sweet potato
1 small Butternut squash
1 large White onion
3-4 medium Carrots
2 handfuls Pasta shells
1 handful Pearl barley
1-2 handfuls Spinach
1 handful Coriander
1 tbsp Garlic purée
1 tbsp Tomato purée
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Ginger purée
1 tsp Miso paste
1 tsp Turmeric
½ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Black pepper
½ tsp Salt


  1. Peel and chop the vegetables into 1-inch cubes:
    • Potato
    • Sweet potato
    • Carrots
    • Butternut squash

Peel and thinly slice the onion

  1. In a large pot on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the onions until they become translucent.
  1. Place all the vegetables into the pot and add the following (amounts shown above):
    • salt
    • black pepper
    • turmeric
    • paprika
    • garlic purée
    • tomato purée
    • ginger purée
    • miso paste

Stir until all the seasonings and vegetables are well combined.

  1. Fill pot with freshly boiled water until the vegetables are completely covered. Cook on high heat for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the level of liquid and make sure it doesn’t boil down – add more water if necessary.
  1. Rinse the barley with cold water and add it to the pot along with the pasta shells. Add more freshly boiled water to the pot and cook on a medium – high heat for 35 minutes. Check the amount of liquid every so often to make sure the broth doesn’t boil down and keep adding more water if necessary to keep all vegetables covered.
  1. Add the spinach and coriander and let the soup cook on a medium – high heat for another 10-15 minutes or until the barley is soft and vegetables are fork tender. Take off the heat.

This bit is optional and depends on whether you prefer your soup chunky or smooth.

  1. Add the soup to a high speed blender or use an immersion blender and blitz until smooth. Add more water or cook down to get the consistency you want.




Coriander Cashew Cream

A good cashew cream is the foundation to vegan cooking when it comes to replacing dairy. Cashews can be quite expensive but a little goes a long way. It’s usually best to soak cashews overnight the day before you want to use them but if you’re like me and slightly forgetful/ don’t plan ahead/ don’t have time then you can always boil them on a low heat right before you need them. You can find more details about how to prepare cashews in this recipe for Creamy Garlic and Mushroom Sauce


1 handful Cashews
1 handful Coriander
1 handful Parsley
2 tbsp Nutritional yeast
1 tbsp Lemon juice
1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
½ tsp White ground pepper
¼ tsp Salt


  1. Add the following to a high speed blender (amounts shown above):
  • Drained soaked cashews
  • Coriander
  • Parsley
  • Lemon juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Nutritional yeast
  • White ground pepper
  • Salt

Fill the blender with enough water to the same height as the cashews (or just under), be patient and blitz until smooth.

2. Pour on everything.


Cheat’s Garlic Bread

When someone asks if you make your own bread…

aint nobody got time for that.gif

I found pre-made baguettes in Sainsbury’s which were dairy and egg-free and that can only mean one thing!


garlic bread 1



1 Baguette
3-4 tbsp Vegan butter
1-2 tsp Garlic purée
1 handful Fresh parsley
½ tsp Dried oregano
¼ tsp Dried thyme


  1. Slice the baguette into ½-inch slices but do not cut all the way through.
  2. In a bowl, mix together:
  • Vegan butter
  • Garlic purée
  • Chopped parsley
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  1. Spread the herb and butter mix generously in-between each of the slices
  2. Wrap the baguette in foil and place in the oven to bake at 180ºc (fan assisted) for 15 minutes.
  3. After this time, remove the foil and bake for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and serve


Check out the recipes for the perfect Sunday Roast Dinner

Maple-glazed Carrots

Sweet and sticky Chantenay carrots roasted in maple syrup

Another super simple recipe to take your roasted veg game to the next level! I used Chantenay carrots and a medium maple syrup by Shady Maple Farms for this recipe and I’m pretty much never going to cook my carrots the “normal” way again. These turned out beyond delicious for the minimal effort that was required – try it out and let me know what you think!


Prep: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 4-6






Chantenay carrots

125 mls

Maple syrup

2-3 tbsp

Vegetable oil (for baking or frying)

¼-½ tsp

Salt (coarse or fine)





  1. Clean and prep the carrots and place into a lined baking tray.


  1. Drizzle vegetable oil on the carrots and add salt. Mix with your hands to make sure the carrots are coated well.


  1. Pour into the baking tray:
  • 125 mls (or just enough to coat the carrots) of maple syrup
  • Freshly boiled hot water – enough to thinly cover the base of the tray

Mix well


  1. Cover the baking tray with foil tightly sealing the edges and place into the oven at 180-200ºc (fan-assisted) for 45 minutes


  1. After 45 minutes, remove the baking tray and discard the foil. Place the tray uncovered back into the oven at 200ºc for 15-20 minutes.


  1. Remove the tray from the oven. Allow to cool and serve.



Need a main course? Check out these recipes for the perfect Sunday roast:

Giant Yorkshire Puddings

Fluffy and golden giant Yorkshire puddings

After two failed (delicious) attempts, I managed to create pudding perfection: crisp and golden on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside – completely dairy and egg free. This recipe makes 4 massive puddings….or 12 feeble ones.

To substitute the milk and eggs, I used Alpro soya drink and Organ Egg Replacer. I think any plant based milk would work for this recipe but I went for soya as it’s the closest in thickness and texture to normal milk compared to the usual alternatives. I usually don’t follow the instructions on the back of the packet for the egg replacer as to how much powder is required to make the equivalent of 4 eggs and I would recommend that you don’t either for this recipe. In my experience, it’s better to try and achieve the volume (and texture) of liquid being replaced rather than a specific amount of binder.

Prep: 20 mins

Cooking time: 25 mins

Equipment: Measuring scales in grams, measuring cup in mls, whisk, 4x ramekins

Serves: 4





200 g

All Purpose Flour

4 tbsp

Orgran Egg Replacer

1 tsp

Baking powder

300 mls

Soya Milk


Vegetable oil (for baking or frying)

100 mls


¾ tsp

Coarse black pepper

1 tsp





Prep the ramekins:

  1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and place the ramekins in the tray spaced evenly apart. Line the ramekins with greaseproof paper and fill them with vegetable oil to approximately 1/6-1/5* the depth of the container


*This volume of oil really depends on how big the ramekin is but filling to about 1cm in depth should be fine


  1. Place the baking tray in the oven at 240ºc (fan-assisted) and let the oil heat up for about 20 minutes whilst you prepare the batter.



If you want to, you can sieve the dry ingredients but it’s not essential. I didn’t use one for this recipe and it turned out well but if you think the ingredients are particularly clumpy then it would be better to sift it.


  1. In a large mixing bowl add the following dry ingredients (amounts listed above):
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper (I used coarse – if you use fine, half the amount listed above)

Whisk together until well combined.


  1. In a separate bowl, add the following ingredients:
  • 4 tbsp of Orgran Egg Replacer powder
  • 100mls of water

Whisk together vigorously until the texture becomes gloopy. This is to create the approximate volume of 4 medium-sized eggs.


  1. Make a “well” in your dry ingredients and slowly add the egg-replacer mixture to the large mixing bowl whilst simultaneously whisking until you get a smooth, homogenous, pancake-like batter. Set to one side.



  1. After about 20 minutes, carefully remove the tray from the oven and using a ladle or a jug; quickly (and very carefully) pour the batter into each ramekin filling up to about ¾ the depth.


  1. Carefully place tray back into the oven and set the temperature to 220ºc and bake the puddings for 22-25 minutes. Keep an eye on the puddings during this time, but for the love of God – do not open the oven door until they are completely finished.


  1. After 25 minutes, remove the tray carefully from the oven and using forks or tongs, remove the Yorkshire puddings from the ramekins and place on a kitchen paper towel to soak up the oil. Allow to cool and serve.



Need ideas to complete your roast dinner? Try some of these recipes:

Buttery Brussels Sprouts

Melt in your mouth brussels sprouts

I feel like brussels sprouts have a really bad reputation for being gross and it’s totally undeserved. It’s all about how you prepare them and once you try this easy, 5-step recipe for the most non-buttery, buttery brussels sprouts – you’ll never go back!

vegan butter

You can pretty much use any non-dairy butter or spread for this recipe as long as it’s suitable for frying but my ultimate favourite butter substitute is the Sunflower Spread by Pure (Dairy Free) – I put it on everything! They also have different types of spread like Soya and Olive but I think they all taste pretty similar. It is also sometimes possible to use margarine as a butter substitute but you have to double-check the ingredients as many of them annoyingly contain dairy!

Prep: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves: 3-4






Brussels sprouts

2-3 tbsp

Non-dairy butter

1 tsp

Garlic purée

¼-½ tsp

Black pepper (coarse or fine)

½ tsp




  1. Peel and clean the brussels sprouts and place them in a saucepan for boiling. Fill the pan with enough water to completely cover the brussels sprouts and boil on medium-high heat for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the brussels sprouts thoroughly.
  1. In another saucepan for frying, turn the heat up to high and add in 2-3 tbsp of a non-dairy butter. Use enough of the butter to evenly coat the bottom of the pan and allow it to melt.
  1. Once the butter has fully melted, turn the heat down to medium low and add in the boiled and drained brussels sprouts, garlic purée, salt and black pepper (I think coarse works better for this).
  1. On a medium heat, stir the brussels sprouts around to evenly distribute the garlic and turn them over every few minutes until they start to turn slightly brown.
  1. Turn off the heat and serve.


Side-dish sorted! Want to try these other recipes?

Roasted Potatoes, Parsnips and Red Onion

Simple and fluffy roasted potatoes with sweet baby parsnips and red onions.

When I cook I always, for some reason, attempt to feed the five thousand so the quantities I used gave about 7 or 8 servings…even though I was only cooking for 3 people #standard. Obviously, just adjust the quantities to whatever you need. 🙂

Prep: 15-20 mins

Cooking time: 1½ hours

Serves: 6-8





4-5 large

Baking potatoes


Baby parsnips

4 medium-large

Red onions

4-5 tbsp

Vegetable oil (baking or frying)

1 tbsp

Garlic purée

½ tsp

Dried oregano

½ tsp


½ tsp

Coarse or fine black pepper

1½ tsp




  1. Peel and wash the potatoes and red onions. As baby parsnips are less fibrous than mature ones, there is no need to core them. Just clean and prep them the way you would do with carrots. Roughly chop the potatoes into 2-inch chunks and the red onions into quarters.
  1. Add the vegetables into a large mixing bowl and add the following (amounts shown above):
  • Vegetable oil – enough to evenly coat all the vegetables
  • Garlic purée
  • Paprika – this is non-negotiable!
  • Dried oregano
  • Black pepper – I preferred coarse for this recipe but fine works just as well
  • Salt
  1. Using your hands, massage and mix the herbs and spices into the vegetables until they are all well-coated and the seasonings are all evenly distributed.

The potatoes will need a little longer to cook than the parsnips and red onions – I added the parsnips and red onion to the tray with the “beef” seitan as they both required 1 hour of cooking time and I put the potatoes in a separate baking tray and put it in the oven about 30 minutes earlier.

  1. Place the seasoned potatoes into a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and fill the tray with vegetable oil up to about ½ centimetre in depth.
  1. Cover the tray with foil making sure the edges are tightly sealed and bake in the oven at 180-200ºc (fan-assisted) for 1 hour*.

*If you haven’t already added the parsnips and red onions to another baking tray, then remove the tray with potatoes from the oven after 30 mins and add them in there. Continue cooking with the tray covered for a further 30 mins

  1. After 1 hour, discard the foil and place the tray back into the oven uncovered and allow to bake for another 30 minutes for the vegetables to crisp up.
  1. Remove from the oven after a total baking time of 1½ hours. Allow to cool and serve.


Looking for accompaniments to this dish? Why don’t you try out these recipes:

New Year, New Blog: Welcome to Zarah’s Earth Kitchen!

Hello, and welcome to the blog! Finally! I have been talking about creating this blog for such a long time now and I figured the New Year and the fact that it’s Veganuary would be the perfect time to start. It has taken a little while with a fair amount of effort and planning to achieve the vibe I was hoping for and I just need to say how amazing my parents and little brother have been in helping me pull everything together. Zarah’s Earth Kitchen is finally here and I’m so pleased I get to share all my favourite vegan recipes with you.

new year_sparkle

Since becoming vegetarian and then vegan, the last three years have been a massive learning curve with regards to cooking. Eating and cooking vegan isn’t that difficult but it naturally requires a bit of effort and change initially. Once you become more familiar with plant-based ingredients and know more about substituting, it becomes easier. Click About Me to learn more about why I went vegan.

When I started out, I had wished there was more information on plant-based cooking so I’m hoping the blog will provide a little bit of inspiration for those who are interested in incorporating more vegan meals into their diet but aren’t sure where to start or just need more ideas. The recipes are also aimed at people with varying degrees of skill – so whether you’re an experienced cook or just starting out in the kitchen, hopefully you’ll find these recipes helpful. I would really love to know what you think of the dishes themselves and recipe formats – whether they’re easy to follow or too simple? Have I missed anything key? Did you modify the recipe and how did it turn out? Leave me a comment and let’s chat.

I have so many ideas that I’m very excited about which will be coming up very soon so make sure you’re subscribed to the blog to receive updates every time I post a new recipe and follow me on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter as I’ll be posting there regularly too. If you have any ideas for anything you’d like me to try then let me know. I hope you enjoy these meals as much as I have creating them!

~ Zarah xo

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