Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas

As I mentioned yesterday, I was planning to make a vegetable stew last night. Michael has been fighting a cold and I was hoping something hardy and veggie filled would take the edge off. But I accidentally added too much water to this recipe so it’s more soup than stew. It probably worked out for the best because what’s better for a cold than soup anyway?

Vegetable Soup with garbazo beans

The good news is this is a very forgiving recipe. Add whatever vegetables and beans you have on hand and don’t worry too much about the measurements (except reduce the water if you want it thicker). We are partial to chickpeas but I think red kidney beans would have added a nice silkiness to each bite and had I thought of it before we were halfway through our bowls I would have added a couple handfuls of kale as well.

The longer the soup sits, the better it tastes so I suggest making it over the weekend for easy lunches and dinners during the week.

Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas (vegan, gluten-free)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, diced

1/2 butternut squash, diced

2 carrots, chopped into rounds

2 stalks of celery, diced

2 tbsp garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1/2 tbsp sweet paprika

1 tbsp thyme

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

4 cups veggie stock

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juices

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 russet potato, diced

2 cups cooked chickpeas



Chop vegetables. Make sure everything is relatively the same size to ensure even cooking.

Soup Veggies

Chopped Veggies

Heat oil in a large pot. Saute onions, butternut squash, carrots and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute. (Excuse my tazo tea in the left corner!)

sauteed vegetables

Add bay leaf, sweet paprika, thyme and cayenne to vegetable mix. Stir.

Pour in vegetable stock, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add diced potatoes.

Bring soup to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes. Lastly, add in chickpeas and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Vegetable Soup

Remove bay leaf and serve piping hot to the sniffling patient on the couch.

vegetable soup with chickpeasvegetable soup with garbanzo beans

Enjoy and Exhale!

Red Lentil Chickpea Hummus

I’ve been in a hummus slump, if such a thing exists. I love Sabre hummus but for some reason it hasn’t been appealing to me lately. We’ve been buying it for the past year but recently it’s largely getting left in the fridge until it’s so old that I feel obligated to throw it out. Hating to waste food I’ve stopped buying it.

The other day while reading Health Magazine I saw a recipe for homemade red lentil hummus and it got the wheels turning. Before store-bought hummus, I used to make my own. Why did I ever stop?

Off I went to the kitchen. I had red lentils and some of the other ingredients from the magazine’s recipe but not all of them. I also had a tupperware filled with chickpeas that needed to be used up. I decided to mix the lentils and beans with whatever else I had on hand to see if it tasted any good.

Verdict? I licked the bowl clean.

The lentils add creaminess and bulk that you don’t get from chickpeas alone. I ate it for lunch with veggies and crackers and felt full through my afternoon workout and long wait at the Registry of Motor Vehicles, blech.

This recipe is so versatile. Feel free to add whatever herbs and spices you have lying around. Varieties with parsley, green onions, turmeric, curry powder, etc would be fabulous. It also only took about 20 minutes start to finish including the cooking of the lentils. I may start making big batch on Sundays for quick use throughout the week.

red lentils

Oh, and if you’re wondering how vegetarians get their protein wonder no more. Red lentils! 40 grams of protein for 1 cup. Just to put that in perspective, a cup of milk has 10 grams. These are some powerful little legumes. Enough nutrition, time for the recipe.

Red Lentil Chickpea Hummus (vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free)

1 cup red lentils, cooked

1/2 cup chickpeas, cooked

1 tablespoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

juice of half a lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon tahini

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2-1 tablespoon olive oil, start with 1/2 and if the hummus seems too thick add the other 1/2

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar mixed with 1 tablespoon water

handful of cilantro


Rinse lentils and sort through for any twigs or rocks.

Bring lentils to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until tender. I didn’t measure how much water I added but I’d guess it was a 2:1 ratio and the water was completely evaporated by the time the lentils were done.

In a food process, add all ingredients.

red lentil chickpea hummus

Run processor until mixture is almost smooth. You will probably need to scrap down the sides once or twice. I like my hummus a little chunkier but keep processing until it’s at your desired consistency.

red lentil chickpea hummus

Taste to make sure seasoning is right. Adjust accordingly. I needed more salt and cayenne while making mine.

Serve with your favorite crackers and raw vegetables. This would also be great on a wrap or sandwich. hummusred lentil chickpea hummus


Chickpea, Curry, Coconut, Quinoa Soup

You must try this soup.  Like today, or this weekend, or as soon as the temperature gets to 70, okay, maybe 65.

Yesterday I was browsing the epicurious website and stumbled on a soup that I’d bookmarked long ago. I’m on a mission to cook all the recipes I bookmark and rip out of cooking magazines so I decided to give this one a try. I had a lot of odds and ends left over from the chili I made earlier this week so many of the ingredients will seem familiar. I suggest making both in the same week, it makes grocery shopping much easier.

The recipe is adapted from here.

I took some liberties that I will outline below.

Chickpea, Curry, Coconut, Quinoa Soup:

(try saying that 5 times fast)

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced

1 bell pepper, chopped

8 cremini mushrooms

1 tablespoon garlic

1.5 cups cooked chickpeas

2 cups vegetable stock

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes

2 tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 can light coconut milk

1-2 teaspoon salt, add until it suits your taste (everyone likes different

2 cups cooked quinoa


In a stockpot, saute onion and carrots in peanut oil until softened. I used peanut oil instead of canola thinking a hint of peanut might go well with these flavors. I was right, if you’ve got peanut oil definitely use it.

Add jalapeno and bell pepper to onion mixture, cook until soft.

Next include mushrooms and garlic, saute for a minute or until garlic is golden brown.

Add chickpeas, veggie stock and tomatoes to pot.  I just started using bouillon cubes instead of buying vegetable stock and I must say it’s a lot easier.

I used these guys.

They are vegan and after much research I determined they are also gluten-free. In case you’re wondering, I wasn’t sure about the yeast extract. Turns out it’s gluten-free most the time, unless it says it’s made specifically out of malt barley. Moral of the story, check your labels!

Anyway, back to the recipe, add tomato paste, curry powder and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes or so.

In the meantime, make your quinoa.

Add coconut milk and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Once soup is done, ladle into a bowl and top with 1/2 cup of quinoa. The quinoa added something really special to this dish. The texture reminded me a little of tomato and rice Campbell soup but with about 10 times less salt and 100 times more flavor.

I mean it, try this recipe. We ate the entire batch last night. Hence the somewhat dark photos. I was planning to take some pictures in the morning light but someone had the last of the soup too fast…not naming names though.

Makes 4 servings.

One side note, if you’re making this for kids, I would omit the jalapeno. It had a kick for sure.

Looking forward to the long weekend. I’m assisting my first yoga class in Boston tomorrow morning and then we’re going to try to make a day trip out of town, location TBD. If you’re in the Boston area let me know if there are some must see spot this time of year. Sunday we’re hoping to find tickets to the Patriots Broncos game (big rivalry in this house) and Monday is my race.

Have a wonderful weekend.

“Lisa, how ’bout some beef?”

I was never much of a meat eater before I became vegetarian. I didn’t really enjoy the taste of meat or fish or eggs for that matter. So I started cutting out meat in college after a rather horrific nightmare about cows. When I’d come home to visit, my papa would always ask the same question in his thick Hungarian accent, “Lisa, how ’bout some beef?” He never really understood how I could give it up so easily. But it felt natural to me.

As time went on I started cutting out more and more.  First beef, then lamb, turkey, chicken. Pork was the long hold out but eventually it no longer appealed to me either. I’m sometimes asked if I ever crave meat and I can honestly say that I don’t. Except for one little thing.

Tuna salad sandwiches.

Maybe it’s because I have such fond memories of them.  My papa made the best tuna salad! He would bring it home from his restaurant on Friday afternoons in a big tub. I remember eating spoonful straight from the container, which thinking back on it now seems sort of gross. But it symbolized the start of the weekend and the ease and freedom of our Friday night dinners.

As I’ve gotten more and more comfortable with vegetarian cuisine I’ve started experimenting with recreating my favorite meals.  Today’s recipe is a spin on tuna salad sandwiches made with chickpeas and cashews.  It takes a lot of liberties when compared to my father’s tuna salad but it’s still delicious in its own right.

Curried Chickpea Salad

Just a note on chickpeas and all other beans before we begin.  I’ve started buying dried beans in bulk instead of in cans.  They are SO much cheaper and you can control the amount you need. They also require little work.

Soak the beans in water for at least 3 hours and then rinse. Transfer to a pot and cover with water. Add salt, bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat for 40 mins. Drain and they’re done.

If that just felt like a lot of work, canned beans work perfectly well here too 🙂

1 cup of chickpeas

1/4 cup soaked cashews. Place cashews in a bowl covered with water for 2 hours. I’m sure almonds or walnuts would work as well but I haven’t tried either personally.

1/2 bell pepper chopped

1 rib celery, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1  tablespoons honey mustard (or whatever mustard you prefer)

Juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon lemon zest

1/2 tablespoon curry powder

2 tablespoon water

salt to taste

Chop veggies and zest lemon.

Using a food processor combine cashews, vinegar,  mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 tbsp water and salt,  pulse until smooth.

Add half a cup of chickpeas to the cashew mixture with second tbsp water and pulse again until smooth.

Remove cashew mixture from food processor.  Add remaining chickpeas and pulse a few times. No need to go until smooth, leave much of the texture.

Add cashew mixture and chickpeas to bowl.

Add bell peppers, celery, curry powder and more salt if needed.


Serves 2 if you have to eat it on the tiny store-bought gluten-free bread. Here’s mine, with a side of Oprah of course.

You can also eat it more like a dip.  I had it with tortilla chips yesterday for lunch.