Pumpkin & Chickpea Soup

Friday, 29 January 2016

I have been recently invited to be a guest lecture at Exeter University. It is the third year I have been asked to do it and it is always an amazing experience to share points of view with a bunch of enthusiastic students keen on changing the way the world is set up.

After the workshop, a student approached me and asked about how did I discover my vocation, my passion, how I knew what I really, really wanted to do with my life.

The question really left me in shock, as I have never thought I had it clear at all. He told me that I looked like a person that has her goals very clear, her mind set, and her objectives in mind. That left me even more shocked.

He told me he was really confused as all his life he had been told what the next step was: primary school, secondary school, high school, University… But now he was finishing his degree and he was panicking as he had not yet discovered what his passion was.

I told him that, despite I'm quite organised and methodical, I don’t give much thought to the things I do. I just take the plunge. That of course has its consequences. Sometimes ends up being the right decision, sometimes I fail spectacularly. Every time that something catches my attention, I start reading, investigating and researching about it as much as I can. It doesn't matter where  I heard about something, if  it sounds interesting, all of a sudden it became my passion and I could spend hours digging deeply on the subject. 

So, the majority of my hobbies and passions were never in my list of “things to do”.

When I was little I used to say that when I grew up I wanted to be a butcher or a missionary. Everyone tend to laugh out loud and I couldn't understand why as both occupations looked absolutely fascinating to me.

Life, fortune, chance or whatever you want to call it has taken me through ways very different to the ones I was expecting. I have had to reinvent myself (and with pleasure) a lot of times. I've failed. I've learned. I've listened and looked around.

I believe that more than setting up a fixed objective, the best thing to do is to make the most of your skills in whatever you find yourself doing, and enjoy doing it.

So key is to do whatever makes you happy today. Having long term goals, of course, but being conscious that these goals have to be flexible because the world will change, we will change and life will take us through unexpected paths.

This week recipe is something I did because a good soup always make me feel happy, and happiness is what everything is about. A really comforting home-made soup using seasonal ingredients and lots of love.


1kg Pumpkin
400g Chickpeas
150ge Free Range Chicken Thighs
3 Bay Leaves
2tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Onions
1 Parsnip
2 Garlic Cloves
3tsp Fresh Parsley
1tsp Ground Cumin
2 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper to taste
1L Water


Chop the onions, crush the garlic and slice the parsnip. 

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook the onions, garlic and parsnip, stirring, for 5/10 minutes or until soft. Add the chicken thighs and cook for an additional couple of minutes.

Put the water in a deep pan and add the pumpkin, chickpeas, cumin and bay leaves. Incorporate the onions, garlic, parsnip and chicken mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. 

Serve hot and sprinkle with fresh parsley.


  1. Tanto colorido en los ingredientes y el resultado hacen que me llegue el aroma de un rico plato, que apetece sobre todo cuando hace frío fuera!! qué rico!! Eres una artista
    Abrazos desde Mallorca!!

  2. Gracias de verdad... Qué ilusión!!!!

    Vosotras lo podéis preparar sin el pollo y está igual de rico! Mua!


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