Vegetable soup with chickpeas is an easy, make ahead, feel good soup that is quick and will provide a healthy lunch or dinner throughout your week. Prep work is minimal, so let’s get to work!
The stock I used in this soup is homemade and it is so worth the effort (see my basic training page for recipe), but buying stock would work as well. I am using canned corn and tomatoes until I see them at my farmer’s market. Using canned vegetables is not something that I do a lot, but when I know they are processed at their peak and not in season here it is the best choice! Once I see corn and tomatoes at the farmer’s market, I will use those in place of the canned items.
Prep is quick, the onions, garlic, celery and carrots need to be chopped, the cabbage has to be shredded (thinly sliced) and you’re done! Now, if you are using fresh corn on the cob, you will need to cut it off the cob (about 4 ears) and fresh tomatoes will need to be chopped (about 4 cups, juice and all). Now, we are ready to cook!
The cooking part of this recipe is a piece of cake. The onions, garlic, celery and carrots are sautéed for a few minutes in bacon drippings or evoo until they are tender and then soon after the rest of the ingredients are added. Let me take this opportunity to put a plug in for the bacon drippings (really, the bacon grease). I have small containers of this frozen in my freezer and if you don’t it is time, friends. This recipe calls for 2 T in this huge pot of NUTRITIOUS soup so let’s not get all crazy that it is bacon grease. In fact, I start almost all of my soups this way. So, next time you cook bacon, let the grease cool, and pour it into a small container to freeze until it is soup making day!
Once the tomatoes, corn and chickpeas have been added it is time to add the stock. Make this soup vegetarian/vegan by adding vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock. (Obviously, not bacon grease if we are going the vegetarian/vegan route).
Now all of your wonderful ingredients have been added to your soup, let it simmer for 30 minutes and you are done…..so much research is showing that a plant based diet is a very healthy choice. If you have not made any commitments to removing meat from your diet, try like I do, to add as many plant based meals as possible. ‘Tis the season for fresh, beautiful produce, let’s make the most of it! Cheers friends!!
2 T bacon drippings or evoo
2 Vidalia onions (any onion you have on hand would work just fine)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
Large pinch of red pepper flakes
4 stalks of celery, sliced
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
28 oz can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
2 14 oz cans whole kernel corn
1 14 oz can garbanzo beans
10-12 cups chicken stock
4 cups cabbage, sliced thinly
4 cups baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large stock pot, heat the bacon drippings (which will add great flavor) or evoo. Add the onion, garlic, celery, carrots and red pepper flakes and saute until tender, but still firm to the bite, 8-10 minutes. Next, add the tomatoes, corn and garbanzo beans, stirring to fully combine. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling add the cabbage and spinach, reduce the heat and simmer the soup for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with fresh parsley and/or nasturtium leaves for garnish. Enjoy!!
Makes 10-12 servings
*Note* This soup can be made a day or 2 in advance and the flavor will only improve with time. Allow the soup to come to room temperature and then refrigerate until ready to serve. Will also freeze well.