Autumn is the new spring + autumn chickpea soup recipe

Nature has its own funny and sad, obvious and mysterious, simple and complicated ways. And by nature I mean the nature of our environment in this time of the year, the nature of our soul in this time of the year and the nature of our life in this time of the year. Throughout human history human beings were busy with analyzing, reacting, praying, worshiping and learning on these 3 natures: the nature of our environment, the nature of our soul and the nature of our life. In holistic disciplines these 3 natures are not disconnected but rather have a direct influence on each other.

Some folks become sad when the temperatures go down and you’re spending your last bits of moments with the sun like two lovers that won’t see each other until spring. Others, like myself, their soul is singing during this period of the year. For many, the spring is the new hope and the new good breaking news of the year, finally they say, it’s here again, “he he”. But for others, as for myself, everything just starts in Autumn, or shall I say that this is the time when everything ends?


It is the time that the farmers are harvesting their best produce from the fields. Beautiful vegetables in golden, orange, yellow and brown colors. 50 shades of sunshine on your plate. During the summer these vegetables are collecting the light of the sun which is reflected in their color. You are what you eat, and when you eat these vegetables you are eating the energy of the sun that was gathered through the whole spring and summer.

The dark yellow-orange-brown energy of these vegetables warms you up from the inside and helps you to cope with the cold weather. It makes the skin shine almost like you have spent some time in the sun. Geographically, it connects you to the place where these vegetables were grown and you feel that you belong there or rather to say, belong here. This is the intimate connection we are having with our environment, soul and life and this connection is passing through our plate.

sweat vegetable autumn chickpea soup

The cook is the mediator between the field and the plate. Sometimes I feel like I do nothing else but allow nature to appear on the plate. As a matter of fact if you are a cook, farmer or food manufacture there is very little you need to do, actually the only thing you need to do is to interfere as little as possible with nature. In my case, I allow nature to appear on the plate as it is with all the ingredients in their whole, grown as naturally as possible with their deep taste and strength coming out in the most digestible way. Sounds easy, no? Actually it is very little we need to do to be good cooks.

The vegetables are the mediator between nature and human beings. During their growth they are collecting sun, water and minerals from the ground. In one vegetable we are getting nature on our plates in a very condensed form. The vegetable is the result of the energy it processed from the air, water, sun, ground and the biodiversity around it. The vegetable, like us, also becomes what it “eats”.


For this reason and many others this is my favorite time of the year. The golden yellow leaves are hanging on a the trees like a high quality expansive fabric shawl from the latest autumn collection, their dry smell is visiting your nose and driving you back to all the things you did exactly a year ago. This is the time of the year to get things done, to finish what we started, to finish what we worked on. In Feng Shui astrology this is the Metal time of the year. It is time to call your friends for dinner and to choose all these wonderful vegetables the earth is offering us, parsnips (pastinaak), celery root (knolselderij), pumpkin (pompoen), salsify (schonseneren), winter carrot (winterpeen) and many more and cook hearty, warming lekker yummy food. To get together, to eat together, to be friends, with yourself, with the people around you and with the environment, because we need each other and we are all directly connected.

In the Jewish religion this time is when “Rosh ha Shana”, the Jewish new year, is celebrated. The ancient folks also appreciated these times when nature is granting us with its gifts, gratifying us for all this work that we have done in collaboration with it. It is time to be stylish, to get to work hard, to clap along if you feel like a room without a roof, to cook and to fall in love again, at least for me it is, and I hope that for this time when the trees are naked and the dark and scary winter comes upon us, my heart won’t be broken again as happened last year. Because, you know, nature has its own funny and sad, obvious and mysterious, simple and complicated ways.


Autumn sweet vegetable- chick pea soup recipe

During our photo shoot Lize Jansen, the photographer of this article, thought the style was a bit too “Spring-like”. And I thought, no, this is actually the abundance and richness of Autumn because, for those of you who didn’t hear yet, there are rumors running in town, “Autumn”, they say, “is the new Spring”. 

For this recipe I used the grey crown prince pumpkin because I think it is so rich and satisfying in texture and taste. This recipe makes a very nice hearty and warming autumn-winter soup. I highly recommend investing in buying a pressure cooker because it makes a whole world of a difference for cooking legumes. And please, if you have any questions or something is not clear, react in the comments bellow and I will answer in detail.


1 onion cut in cubes

1/5 small pumpkin cut in cubes

1 tbsp roasted sesame oil

1 cup chick peas soaked over night

3 tbsp of sweet rice

Few pinches of sea salt

2 full tbsp shiro miso

½ tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp ginger juice

Few pinches of chili

Parsely for garnish

Pressure cook the chick peas and sweet rice with 4 cups of water for 45 minutes under pressure.

Sauté the onion and the pumpkin on preheated roasted sesame oil for about 5 minutes adding few pinches of salt if the vegetables are getting dry. Add the pressure cooked chickpeas and sweet rice with their cooking water and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes till the vegetables are soft. Add the shiro miso (dilute slowly into the water), lemon juice, ginger juice and chili. Simmer for one more minute, taste and add more if necessary for stronger taste.

     sweet vegetable autumn chick pea soup


A personal note:

This autumn my teacher and pioneer of the natural food movement in Europe, Adelbert Nelissen died. For many people he was a role model and for many others a controversial figure. He taught me to help the world first before thinking about myself, to heal people with food, to inspire the world to be a better place, to clean the house in the morning and to love human beings. The golden leaves on the trees are drying and falling and I am sadly saying good bye to him and grateful that despite his unusual ways he taught so many people about natural and healing foods. When these golden leaves will all fall out, the trees will be naked and it will feel empty and I will miss him and will always remember what he taught me.


Profile photos: Sigel Eschkol

Recipe photo: Lize Jansen