A pastor friend of mine noted on social media the other day that 2018 is a weird year, with Lent beginning on Valentine’s Day and Easter falling on April Fool’s Day. He was excited at the sermon possibilities that may come from it.
I started thinking about folks who will avoid taking their dates out for expensive steak or lobster dinners on Feb. 14.
If that happens to be you, or you’re looking for a good, filling meatless meal for Lent, you want to get some vegetables in your diet, or you just really like good soup, do I have a deal for you.
I was very curious about this week’s recipe when I first spotted it on Pinterest, because it features chickpeas, which I’ve only ever eaten when made into hummus.
This recipe comes from the blog “Feel Good Foodie.” You can find it at http://feelgoodfoodie.net/ recipe/vegetarian-chickpea-pasta-soup/. I added a lot of spices and increased the amounts of some ingredients in my version.
* * *
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced (I used a yellow onion)
3-4 large carrots, diced
4-5 stalks celery, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 heaping teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
salt and pepper to taste
8 cups vegetable broth
15 ounces chickpeas, rinsed and drained
8 ounces small pasta (I used macaroni)
grated parmesan and dried parsley for garnish
In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, carrots and celery until they’re soft (about five to 10 minutes). Add in the garlic and sauté until it’s aromatic and just beginning to brown.
Add the spices and vegetable broth, and stir to loosen any bits from the bottom of the pot.
Bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and pasta and cook for another 10 minutes or until the pasta reaches your desired level of doneness. (If you need to add any liquid, pour in some hot water.)
Remove from heat and serve with parmesan and dried parsley sprinkled on top of each bowl.
* * *
We enjoyed this soup a lot, and between the chickpeas and pasta, it fills you up nicely. It also has a lot of great flavors going on.
If you’re wondering, the chickpeas had the same basic texture as beans, so if you like beans, you’ll probably like this, too. If you’re not sure about them, throw in a can of great northern beans instead.
And if you want to make a good, vegetarian dinner for Valentine’s Day this year, I give this one my stamp of approval. Pair it with some crusty bread and a great chocolate dessert, and you’ll sweep your sweetie right off his or her feet.
Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.