Every once in a great while you find yourself with leftover rice in the fridge but no craving for a stir-fry. What is one to do?! Why create a soup, of course! Most of my recipes are born out of random ingredients laying around in my fridge, like half a can of tomato paste, a handful of fresh herbs, a glass of wine (the sin!) or in this case, leftover cooked rice. I looked around and saw the leftover rice, some cooked chick peas, a small can of tomato sauce and the squeaky wheels started turning in my head. I happened to be in Puerto Rico at the time and had access to my favorite herb on the planet, culantro (known as recao in Puerto Rico and ngò gai in Vietnam). Though different than its Puerto Rican incarnation, culantro is more fragrant that cilantro, with a pungent aroma and taste. I was able to locate some at a Vietnamese market in Portland labeled as “ngò gai” and “Vietnamese parsley”. I assure you the search is worth it. You can substitute cilantro in this recipe if culantro is not available.
Once upon a time when I was in college I was stuck at my temp job with no food, no money and a killer hangover. I begged my boyfriend at the time to bring me some food and less than half an hour later he showed with this chick peas and peas pasta dish. I swear he saved my life that day plus this creation started my love affair with chick peas. I’ve been making this dish for over a decade now and it has gone through several changes since the original (olive oil, garlic, onions, chick peas, peas, s & p) was presented to me. It really is one of the easiest and tastiest things you can throw together when in a hurry especially since most of the ingredients are simple staples. This recipe lends itself well to a variety of flavors so feel free to experiment with other vegetables tossed in.
Chick Peas and Green Peas Pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of cooked chick peas
1 cup frozen green peas
1 3/4 cups of rice milk
1 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp fresh pepper
8-10 ounces cooked pasta, preferably shells or penne
1. Warm olive oil and Earth Balance in a large saute pan over medium high heat and add onions with a dash of salt. Cook until clear and fragrant. Add garlic and stir to mix well.
2. Add chick peas, peas, and rice milk. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.
3. Add shredded vegan cheese (if using) and the rest of the ingredients except the pasta. Cook for an additional ten minutes or until all the flavors are combined and sauce is creamy. Toss in pasta and serve with fresh ground black pepper.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 bowls
Chick Peas and lentils are easily two of my favorite legumes. I love their versatility in soups, pasta dishes, over rice, pureed for dips and in salads plus they lend themselves well to a variety of herbs and spices. Putting these two magical legumes together in a single dish may be the best idea I’ve had all year. The aromatic spices and tomato base of this soup are a perfect stage for these complementary beans to shine together. This rich dish could easily be served over rice though I found it to be ample and satisfying by itself.
Moroccan Chick Pea and Lentil Soup
3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery rib, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
Pinch of saffron thread
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp cumin
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaf
1/2 tsp sugar
1 cup lentils, sorted and rinsed
8 cups of water or vegetable broth
2 cups of chick peas, cooked
1 garlic clove, minced
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Lemon wedges (optional)
1) In a large soup pot warm olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and celery and sauté until halfway cooked. Add ginger, jalapeño, saffron, turmeric, cumin and ground cinnamon and sauté until onions are translucent and aromatic.
2) Add tomatoes and tomato paste and let simmer for a few minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and sugar.
3) Add lentils, water or vegetable broth and bring to a light boil.
4) Reduce heat and partially cover. Cook until lentils are al dente, about 30-40 minutes.
5) Add chick peas and garlic clove and simmer until all flavors are developed, about 30 more minutes.
6) Remove cinnamon sticks and bay leaves. Add a generous amount of fresh pepper and adjust salt according to personal taste.
7) Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Servings: Six hearty bowls
It will soon become apparent that I am obsessed with chick peas. I eat them as often as possible in soups, salads, hummus, cooked dishes or simply by themselves. This dish beautifully pairs fragrant indian spices with tomatoes and chick peas. The list of spices is extensive, though I consider them all staples in my kitchen. I generally serve this dish over coconut jasmine rice but it would be delicious over any cooked grain of your choice.
Curried Chick Peas and Tomatoes
2 tbsp of grapeseed oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
1 med onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced or 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1 60z can tomato paste
3 1/2 cups cooked chick peas or 2 cans drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp turmeric
juice of half a lime (about 2 tsps)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Warm oil in a large saute pan or wok
2. Add onions and cook until translucent
3. Add fresh garlic and fresh ginger (if using) and stir for about 2 minutes
4. Add fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies and cook for 3-5 minutes
5. Add coconut milk and tomato paste and bring to a light boil
6. Stir in chick peas and all the dried spices (including salt and pepper) and cook together for 20-30 minutes on medium low heat
7. Remove from heat and add fresh lime juice and cilantro
8. Serve over rice
- If you don’t like a heavy tomato taste, cut the fire roasted tomatoes and tomato paste by half
- If you prefer a non-spicy version use fire roasted tomatoes (or plain diced) without green chilies and omit the cayenne
Total Prep and Cook Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Servings: 5-6 if served over rice
I absolutely love when fresh corn season comes around so I can enjoy this incredible tasting yet ridiculously simple recipe. I dream about this dish all winter long. It is imperative you use fresh corn, as frozen or canned corn will not do this dish justice. I always add chick peas to this dish to give it more texture and flavor but it’s tasty without it as well.
Sweet Corn and Spicy Jalapeño Salad
1 ear fresh corn, husked and the kernels shaved off the cob
1 large jalapeño, stems and seeds removed, finely diced
2 tbsp high quality extra virgin olive oil or 3 tbsp if using chick peas
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups of cooked chick peas or 1 can drained and rinsed (optional)
1. Toss all ingredients together Adjust oil, salt and pepper according to personal taste
2. For maximum flavor, let sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving
Total Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Cook Time: None
Servings: 2-4 side portions
This is one of the easiest, simplest soup recipes I make, yet it is one of the most nutritious and comforting. I’m especially fond of it when I have a cold for all the yummy, garlicky goodness.
Chick Pea Kale Garlic Soup
4 cups of chopped and steamed kale
2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of cooked or canned chick peas
6 cups of Vegetable stock or 2 bouillon cubes with water
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1 tsp of fresh or 1 tbsp dry thyme
Splash of soymilk (optional)
1. Steam chopped kale and set aside
2. Warm olive oil in a soup pot on medium high heat
3. Saute diced onions for 5 minutes, stirring often then add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes
4. Once they’re both soft add the vegetable stock, chick peas and kale
5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for at least 20-30 minutes
6. Add salt, pepper and thyme
7. Add soymilk if you prefer the soup cloudy and want to cut down the pungent ‘garlicky’ taste into a softer flavor
Total Prep and Cooking Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Servings: 4 bowls