Chickpea Tomato Minestrone [with vegan option]

October 21, 2013

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When reflecting on past gardens, I can’t help but be grateful for the fact that I was able to have an inground garden this summer. In years past, I’ve always moved in August and had failed attempts with transplanting tomato plants and herbs. This means that the last time I had a real garden was when I was little and my parent’s let me pick out what I wanted to grow. And that was gourds – I remember distintcly only wanting to grow gourds and my parents thinking that was a little funny (although I wouldn’t understand why until many years later… when I realized they are really not very useful in the kitchen).

But anyhow, this year… this year I was able to go all out. No more of that half assing tomato and basil plant in a few pots. Nope, Nope. This year I wanted a garden both in the back and side yard (one for full sun and one for part). We planted tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, kale, swiss chard, scallions, lemongrass, cucumbers, bell peppers, jalapeños, rosemary, sage, and so on. Some of them flourished (lemongrass, scallions, kale, tamotoes) and some of them never quite got off the ground (potatoes, cucumbers…). But whether they grew to monstorous portions or stayed micro size, we tried to harvest and enjoy them. We harvested everything in September but the swiss chard and lemongrass.

 

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I’m not sure what I was waiting for with the swiss chard but I knew I was ignoring it until a sign occured. Whether that sign was a must-try recipe or the first frost biting at it’s leaves, I knew I needed a sign. Perhaps it was because the leaves were coming in so beautifully with the colored veins speckled through out them. Whatever it was, I knew I didn’t want to waste these greens by burying them at the bottom of a recipe.

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When I heard that the first frost could potentially be hitting this Tuesday, I knew I had run out of time. I rummaged through old recipes and was struck by the Rosemary soup I made last fall. The kale managed to steal the show in that recipe and I knew a swiss chard version would do the same. Without delay, this soup was born. A mix between my favorite minestrone and that rosemary soup from last fall, it’s oh so refreshing. Chocked full of vitamin-rich vegetables wrapped in a warm broth that feels just perfect on a crisp fall evening. Now, if only I had made that rustic bread to go with this one…

..And if I could only bring myself to harvest that lemongrass before it’s too late! oh Youtube videos… you are just confusing me me!

 

chickpeatomatsoup

Chickpea Tomato Minestrone

Serves 6 (or less with lots of yummy leftovers!)

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (use homemade if possible)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregeno
  • 1 cup of pasta (not spaghetti or long noodles)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and washed thoroughly (or about a cup and a half of cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard, stems and leaves separated & chopped
  • Salt / Pepper
  • Dash of Red Pepper flakes
  • Parmesan, for garnish [omit to make vegan]

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes or until the veggies begin to soften. Next, add in the garlic and saute for another 30 seconds. Then add the tomato paste, vegetable broth, diced tomatoes (with the juices from the can), and oregano. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes.

Add in the stems of swiss chard, chickpeas, and pasta. Let cook for another 10 minutes. Finally, add the swiss chard leaves and let cook for 30 seconds or just until the leaves start to wilt. Remove from heat.

Add salt / pepper / red pepper flakes to taste and top with Parmesan.

 

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42 Comments

  • Reply janae @ bring joy October 21, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    LOVE the addition of chard–so pretty & unconventional.

  • Reply Ash-foodfashionparty October 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Love love the pictures. Everything about this recipe is good, the chard would be so good in the stew. Lovely. Pinning.

  • Reply Maria Tadic October 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I love minestrone soup! The perfect cold fall dinner! And adding the dark greens is a great idea! I love ‘chard!

  • Reply Grace October 21, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Such a lovely, colorful dish! This is the perfect hearty and wholesome soup for a cold grey day.

  • Reply gina October 21, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    looks so yummy!! pretty pics too! I have a ton of chard to use. Btw, terrible year for cucumbers all over I think. both my gardens under performed with cucumbers :-(

    • Reply Shellywest October 22, 2013 at 8:00 am

      At least mine weren’t the only ones! I was so excited to make pickles and then they all turned sour yellow instead of green. Ah well, next year hopefully!

  • Reply Melinda's Musings October 21, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    This looks so good, I can’t wait to make it!

  • Reply Harriet October 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    This looks so wonderfully delicious and wholesome. Big pots of minestrone are my go-to meal for busy weeks or when cosiness is needed. I’m equal parts happy and jealous of your gardening endeavours! I am slowly, slowly cultivating a green thumb, but it’s often thwarted by our local wildlife and really bad soil. I guess I’ll just survive vicariously through your success!

    • Reply Shellywest October 22, 2013 at 7:58 am

      Oh no! Local wildfires?! That is one problem that I can easily say I don’t have to deal with…. I could see how that could get in the way though!

  • Reply Sarah | The Sugar Hit October 21, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Your photos are looking absolutely amazing! And this soup looks hearty, warming and wonderful.

  • Reply Maria October 22, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Shelly, this is a gorgeous post. I love, love that recipe and your photos as usual are stunning! So glad you were able to rescue that gorgeous chard!!

  • Reply Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com October 23, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Fabulous photos! Fabulous looking and sounding recipe! Thanks so much for sharing

  • Reply Consuelo @ Honey & Figs October 24, 2013 at 8:19 am

    This looks amazing! I’d love to have it for dinner soon. Pinned :D

  • Reply Martha October 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Omit the parmesan for vegetarian! Legally it has to contain Rennit! Which comes from a calves stomach

    • Reply Shellywest October 24, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      Ugh, what an awful visual picture! I could have sworn the Parmesan that I get at my co-op is stamped vegetarian but I’ll need to double check now.

      • Reply Martha October 26, 2013 at 8:25 am

        You can get lots of Parmesan style cheese that tastes the same but just doesn’t contain the Rennet. You can even get great Vegan Parmesan which is weird! But still so good!

        But its under some rural traditional Italian law that it has to!

  • Reply Dina October 24, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    sounds great for a cold day like today!

  • Reply becca October 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    oh my belly is hungry for this immediately. this recipe is gorgeous and practical and i will make it, that’s for sure.

  • Reply Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious October 28, 2013 at 4:09 am

    What a cozy bowl of soup!

  • Reply Katie @ Produce on Parade October 28, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Wow, this looks so perfect right now. Alaska is cold and super windy and this soup sounds like the remedy I need :)

  • Reply Eva October 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I make a somewhat similar recipe from one of Moosewood Restaurant’s made-for-kids cookbooks on the regular- it uses loads of garlic, carrots and tomato juice, but so easy to cook up! I’m awful at budgeting time to chop veggies, and it allows time to cut them up while other things simmer!

    • Reply Shellywest October 29, 2013 at 11:53 am

      That sounds delicious! Anything with loads of garlic and I’m in.

  • Reply » Season for Soup Life Love and Waffles November 1, 2013 at 10:09 am

    [...] Chickpea Tomato Minestrone by Vegetarian Ventures. Again, I love the addition of pasta in this soup. I’ve been eating leftovers all week! You won’t miss the meat because of the chickpeas. This soup is heartier and thicker than I expected, which I love. * I used corkscrew pasta and added more like a cup and a half or two cups. I can never find kale or swiss chard here, so again, I used spinach. Parmesan is a must! For leftovers the next day, I added more chicken stock to thin it out a bit. [...]

  • Reply Liz @ I Heart Vegetables November 1, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    This looks delicious!

  • Reply Chickpea & Tomato Minestrone ‹ a tale of Two Wheats November 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    [...] Recipe lightly adapted from Vegetarian Ventures [...]

  • Reply Catherine November 10, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Hi! I just recently found your blog and I’m dying because I love it so much. Your photography is incredible, I can’t get over how awesome you make everything look! I am also vegetarian so I’ll be trying out your recipes. I’m running off to the grocery store right now to pick up veggies for this soup. I’ll let you know how it turns out!
    You’re awesome, don’t stop blogging!!!
    Catherine
    http://petitappartement.wordpress.com/

    • Reply Shellywest November 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Hey Catherine – thanks so much for the kind words!! Can’t help but love positive feedback like this! Please let me know how the soup turns out for you!

  • Reply Pin-able Recipes: Chickpea Tomato Minestrone | Running With Tongs November 19, 2013 at 10:13 am

    […] To check out the recipe for yourself head over here. […]

  • Reply Erin December 11, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    This was fabulous! So fresh tasting and delicious…even my toddler gobbled it up! Wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Reply Misty January 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    just made this tonight. What an incredibly tasty soup. I just shared the recipe with a bunch of friends! Thank you!

    • Reply Shellywest January 13, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      So glad to hear it!!! I absolutely love knowing people are trying out my recipes!

  • Reply Use It Up: What To Do With Leftover Chickpeas (Or Garbanzo Beans, Whatevs) - January 11, 2014 at 6:40 am

    […] Image of Vegetarian Chickpea Minestrone from Vegetarian Ventures […]

  • Reply Jenny January 20, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Delicious soup! Except I substituted pasta with quinoa, which has much more protein and health benefits. Yum!

    • Reply Shellywest January 20, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      Love the quinoa idea! Will most certainly need to try that next time!

  • Reply Susie February 3, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Do you cook the pasta before adding it to the soup?

    • Reply Shellywest February 3, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      Nope – you’ll add the dried pasta and keep the soup simmering for 10 minutes which will cook the pasta all the way through. Hope that helps!

  • Reply Rosella Sturniolo February 10, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    How do I print the recipe “Chickpea tomato Minestrone with vegan options” without including all the comments on the bottom.
    Thanks

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  • Reply Dasha April 13, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I’ve made this recipe at least 5 times because it’s absolutely delicious in every way and tastes even better leftover. I’m not a huge Swiss chard fan, so I sub kale or spinach but no matter, it’s awesome. Thanks!

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