I can’t explain this midsummer soup that I made at the end of a July heat wave, except by saying, “sometimes you just need comfort food.”
It was the end of a long, stressful day and I needed a quick late night dinner. Although it had been 90 degrees that day, I really wanted soup. So I scoured the pantry and fridge and came up with almost all of the ingredients for chicken noodle soup, except for chicken. No problem, I thought. I had chickpeas.
Don’t worry. I haven’t lost my mind (yet). I am aware that chickpeas are nothing like chicken, and I know that just because an ingredient sounds like another, that does not mean they taste the same. However, I needed some protein and chickpea noodle soup just sounded so right that it couldn’t be wrong.
I used a vegetable soup base blend that I had picked up from the frozen vegetables section, and I think the okra in this blend really helped to thicken the soup. I also added some texture by tossing a third of the chickpeas into the food processor before adding them to the soup. The noodles and legumes were very filling, and the veggies made me feel like I had made a semi-healthy meal choice.
If you just can’t bear the thought of hot soup in July, or you think it’s a waste to use canned and frozen ingredients in the middle of the best season for fresh produce, I get it. Really I do. I’ve eaten a fresh tomato sandwich for dinner the last two nights in a row so you know I appreciate what’s coming out of the dirt over what’s coming out of the can right now. But at least toss some fresh green beans and okra in the freezer now and bookmark this recipe, because if you aren’t ready today, I think this is just what you’ll be looking for in January.
Chickpea Noodle Soup
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb frozen vegetables (I used a vegetable soup blend that included carrots, potatoes, corn, green beans, lima beans, okra, peas, celery and onions)
- 1- 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 quart low sodium vegetable broth
- 4 oz. egg noodles
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb blend (optional)
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic and onion to pot and sauté until onion is translucent.
- Add vegetables to pot, and cook while stirring for 2-3 minutes.
- Divide chickpeas into three equal portions. Add one third of the chickpeas to a food processor, and pulse until finely chopped.
- Add whole and chopped chickpeas, broth, and 1 cup water to pot. Bring to a boil.
- Add noodles and the rest of the ingredients, return to a boil, then cover and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes.