Simple Chickpea Soup with Lemon + Dill

A very simple soup.  Chickpeas and vegetables perked up with plenty of lemon and fresh dill.  It's super bright and flavorful.  Most of the ingredients are probably in your fridge and pantry right now.  I served it over brown rice for dinner.  Vegetable stock maybe used to keep things vegetarian.      

Grab a pound of kirby cucumbers while you're at it and use the rest of the dill to make pickles. 

Serves 4.

Chickpea Vegetable Soup with Lemon + Dill

1 tsp olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled, diced

2 celery stalk, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 quart chicken stock

1 14 oz tin chickpeas, rinsed, drained

1/2 bunch lacinato kale, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

 juice of 1 lemon

s + p

In a pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, chile flakes.  Cooking, stirring frequently, until vegetables are aromatic and glossy, about 5 minutes.  Add stock. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add chickpeas, kale, dill and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve hot. 

Vegetable Chili

We make this about once a month.  It's flavorful, satisfying and healthy.  Cam likes it over brown rice with a pile of kale sautéed with garlic and lemon juice.  I'll eat it over anything.  

I posted a veggie chili a couple years ago but after making it so many times the recipe has been tweaked a bit.  Here's the newer, improved version.  

Serves 6.

Vegetable Chili

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, small dice

2 small carrots, peeled, small dice

kernels from 1 ear of fresh corn

3 cloves garlic, minced

28 oz tin crushed tomatoes

20 oz water

2 tablespoons cumin

2 tablespoons chile powder

1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 1/2 tablespoons paprika

3/4 cup chopped green beans

1 zucchini, small dice

1 yellow squash, small dice

1 red bell pepper, seeded, stemmed, small dice

14 oz tin black beans, rinsed, drained

14 oz tin kidney beans, rinsed drained

lime juice, to taste

s + p

In a pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and carrots, cooking until onions are soft and clear.  Add corn and garlic, cook, stirring so garlic doesn't burn, 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, water and spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender, about 15 minutes.  Add green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, black beans and kidney beans.  cook until green beans are crisp tender, about 5 minutes.  Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.  

 

Vegetarian Split Pea

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I know, I know, I know.  I just made a split pea soup about a month ago.  That one wasn't vegetarian.  Although I'm not a vegetarian, I eat like one most of the week.  

Vegetarian Split Pea Soup

splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large carrot, peeled, diced

2 cups dried green peas (or yellow) 

8 cups vegetable stock

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika  

2 potatoes, peeled, chopped

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar  

s + p

In a large pot, heat a splash of olive oil.  Sauté onion, garlic, celery and carrot 5 minutes.  Add dried peas and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.  

Add stock, majoram, thyme, cumin and paprika.  Boil, reduce heat, simmer 30 minutes.  Add potatoes, simmer 30 to 45 minutes more, mostly covered.  When it's done, the peas will be very tender and with a good stirring will fall apart. 

Add cider vinegar.  Season with s + p.  

 

 

Saffron + Mixed Vegetable Risotto

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I love, love, love risotto.   We make it on all special occasions, including valentine's day so for me, it must be served with champagne.  It's so satisfying I don't need any appetizers or side salads or anything.  (Maybe just dessert!)  

Makes 2-3 servings.

Saffron Risotto with Vegetables + Sausage

4 cups vegetable stock

10 asparagus spears, chopped

4 oz green beans, chopped

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, diced

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

1 scant teaspoon saffron threads 

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup grated asiago cheese

1 fresno chile, seeded, diced

2 link precooked sausage, sliced (I suggest applegate's fire roasted red pepper poultry sausage)

s + p

Blanche asparagus and green beans in boiling water for 60 seconds.  Drain and place in ice bath to shock the vegetables.  Set aside.  (Separately reserve asparagus tips for garnishing if you like.)

Saute mushrooms in a small splash of olive oil for 3 minutes.  Set aside with vegetables. 

In a large pan, melt butter.  Add onion and saute 5 minutes.  Add rice, stir to coat in rice, cook 1 minute.  Add wine and cook until evaporated.  Stir in saffron.  Begin adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time.  Stirring constantly until each 1/2 cup has evaporated.  Then add another cup, stir, evaporate, repeat.  Continue until there is no more stock and rice is soft.  This should take about 20 minutes.   

Stir in cheese., vegetables and sausage.  Season with salt and pepper.  Garnish with asparagus tips.

Smoky Minestrone Soup

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This is another one of Cameron's brilliant soups.  He made it for dinner one night and as soon I tasted it I knew I had to share it here.  We've also been calling this one mexican minestrone but I'm not sure exactly how mexican it is.  Either way, It's smoky and peppery with great texture from all the different vegetables.  I love having a super healthy soups like this that are full of vegetables and flavor.  So very satisfying.  

Serves 6-8.  

Smoky Minestrone Soup

1 cup farro (or barley would be good too)

dash olive oil

1 large onion, diced

2 large carrots, diced

1 bulb fennel, diced

1 leak, halved & thinly sliced

3 medium tomatoes, seeded, peeled, and diced

4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 sprigs fresh oregano 

2 bay leaves

1 cup fresh cranberry beans (or use a can of navy beans, rinsed - just add them at the very end) 

2 quarts veggie stock  

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1 ancho pepper (dried & smoked Poblano)

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp pimenton (smoked paprika) 

1 small zucchini, diced

1 yellow squash, diced

2 cups green beans, chopped

juice of 1/2 a lime

splash Champagne vinegar

S + P

In a small pot, cover farro with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, simmer 40 minutes or until tender and not squeaky.  Drain off excess water.  While farro is cooking, prep the veggies and get the soup going.  
 

In a pot, warm some olive oil and add onion, carrots and fennel.  Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are clear, about 5 minutes.  Add the leek, tomatoes, thyme, oregano, bay and cranberry beans, cooking another 5 minutes more.   

Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Add mushrooms, the dried pepper, cumin and paprika.  Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the beans are creamy and no longer mealy.  Add remaining ingredients and cook until green beans are blanched, bright green and crisp tender.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Serve over farro and garnish with some cilantro leaves, if you have any around.