This article originally featured in the January 2021 issue of Connect.

Ashley De La Haye (Hyōgo)

There’s nothing quite like a hot bowl of soup to warm your soul on a long winter night. Being placed in the depths of Hokkaidō last year, many evenings were spent slowly making my way through a pan of this chunky soup, huddled in front of my kerosene stove. This recipe can be made completely vegetarian or vegan if you have vegetable stock powder. If you’re feeling really hungry, try adding some snapped-up spaghetti to the soup to satisfy that carb craving.

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot
2 potatoes
Salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste
1 1/2 stock cubes (you can use vegetarian/vegan ones if you can get your hands on some!)
Handful of quinoa
Handful of split red lentils


  1. First add the oil to a hot pan and brown the onions and garlic together, adding salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Cut the carrots and potatoes into large chunks, then add to a pan of water and bring to the boil.
  3. Add the quinoa and lentils to the pan of water and boil until all ingredients are cooked through.  Add the stock cubes to the pan and transfer the garlic and onions into the soup.
  4. Stir through until the stock is completely dissolved, adding salt, pepper, and chilli flakes to taste.

Ashley is a second-year ALT who transferred this year from Hokkaidō to the much warmer Kōbe City in Hyōgo Prefecture. She enjoys all things music, food and drinking and is currently eating her body weight in chocolate on the lead-up to Christmas.