Meatless Monday: Chickpea, Rice and Kale Soup

This entry was posted on Nov 6, 2017 by Charlotte Bell.

meatless monday

Soup season is here again! I love making soup. I love how my house fills with the fragrance of long-simmering veggies. It makes my drafty, old house feel warmer. I also love the fact that soup is invariably better the next day. Leftovers make for delicious and very easy weeknight meals.

Today’s soup comes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s sassy classic, Vegan with a Vengeance. My version of this soup turned out really thick. This could be partly because I added a little extra rice. (I had only 1/4 cup left after measuring out the rice for the recipe, so I just threw it in.) I also used a 29-ounce can of chickpeas rather than the 24-ounce can. I enjoyed the chunkiness of it. It felt very substantial.

Other than the extra chickpeas and rice, the only other change I made was to use fresh thyme and rosemary instead of dried. I still have lots of fresh herbs in my garden and I prefer the vitality of fresh herbs.

This soup is definitely a one-pot meal. With the legumes, rice and veggies, it supplies everything I needed to be satisfied. The cashew cream makes the texture really silky. Be sure to blend the cashews until they’re super smooth.

I used brown basmati rice, which took about 30 minutes to cook. The directions below allot 15 minutes to cook after adding the rice. If you use brown rice of any kind, make sure to add more time.

Prep tip: I like to chop all my veggies in advance and store them in containers so that when it comes time to put the soup together, everything is ready to go. You can put things that go into the soup simultaneously in the same container. For example, in this soup I stored the carrots and celery in a bowl together.

We enjoyed the soup with a slice of Eva’s herb-walnut bread topped with ghee, but you could certainly skip the bread if you’re so inclined.

Meatless Monday: Chickpea, Rice and Kale Soup

  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked 2 hours or overnight
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 3/4 cup rice, rinsed (I used brown basmati rice.)
  • 3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced chunky
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 24-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 3 cups)
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • Thinly sliced green onion, for garnish
  1. Drain the cashews and place them in a blender with one cup of fresh water. Blend until completely smooth, scraping the sides of the food processor with a spatula occasionally to make sure you get everything. This could 1 to 5 minutes depending on the strength of your blender.
  2. Preheat a stock pot over medium heat. Saute onion in olive oil with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper and saute a minute more.
  3. Add rice, celery and carrots and then pour in the broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, bring down to a simmer, add the chickpeas, and let cook for about 15 more minutes, until rice is cooked and carrots are tender.
  4. Add the cashew cream and kale, and simmer until kale is wilted, 3 to 5 more minutes. You may need to add water to thin the soup if it seems too thick. Taste for salt and seasonings and let sit for 10 minutes or so to allow the flavors to marry. Serve topped with green onions.
  5. It thickens as it cools, so if you have leftovers, just thin with a little water when you reheat.
About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.