Two things I love about vegetarian cooking (besides the taste!):
- Vegetarian cooking lends itself to cooking from scratch. Because I quit eating meat in 1978 when vegetarian convenience foods were non-existent, I had to learn to cook from scratch. In the process I discovered how much I enjoy making meals from scratch, and how much better they taste than processed foods.
- Vegetarian cooking lends itself well to one-pot meals, those soups, stews, sautés and bakes that contain everything you need, but also combine well with a simple side salad.
Today’s recipe is a brothy, but hearty, soup from Veganomicon, an entertaining cookbook of simple, everyday vegan recipes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. It features a protein source (chickpeas) and silky soba noodles in addition to a few veggies—although I think the soup would be great if you added a few more—think chopped cauliflower or greens. The brown rice miso gives it depth.
This soup comes together pretty quickly, especially if you use canned chickpeas. I know using canned beans makes the recipe not technically “from scratch,” but even with a pressure cooker, chickpeas take a very long time to cook. I often opt for canned in the case of chickpeas.
This recipe makes six servings, so depending on how many people it needs to feed, you could have leftovers.
Chickpea Noodle Soup
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced onions
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (I used shiitakes)
- 1/2 t each celery seeds, black pepper and dried rosemary (crushed in your fingers)
- 1 t dried thyme
- 2 T mirin
- 1/3 cup brown rice miso
- 6 cups water or stock
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (15-ounce can)
- 6 ounces soba noodles
Preheat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and carrots in the oil for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and herbs, and saute for another 5 minutes. Deglaze the post with the mirin (or just a splash of water). Add the 6 cups of water and the chickpeas. Cover and bring to a boil.
Once the broth is boiling, break the soba noodles into thirds and throw them in. Lower the heat to medium so that the soup is at a low boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove a cup of the broth from the soup and dissolve the miso into the broth. Return it to the soup. Taste and adjust the salt, and add a little extra miso if you would like a stronger, saltier flavor.
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