Hey again guys! Though it is rare that I make the same exact soup twice, it is still always fun to record all the different variations I whip up. It has been quite cold here in Atlanta the last few days, so soup was destined for my menu. I actually made a big pot of chili this week, too, just to make sure we have plenty of warm bowls of fuel to keep our bellies full!
Soup is also a great way to help stay on track and consume lots of healthy veggies during the crazy holiday season. Oftentimes it is really easy to let the normal routine go and fall into unhealthy eating habits in times of stress or lots of celebrations. Instead of totally going off the rails, doing some meal prep is especially beneficial during the holidays. If you spend an hour on a Sunday afternoon to throw together a big pot of soup for the week you are one step closer to maintaining a good eating routine. If you really want to make it hands off, use the slow cooker for truly easy prep.
This type of soup is one I often like to make after Thanksgiving or Christmas to help fill my body full of nutrients if I have indulged a little bit for the holidays. The vegetables and light broth keep you full and hydrated. The turmeric and celery are great for reducing inflammation. Hot peppers spice it up just a little bit for flavor, but can also give your metabolism just a bit of a boost. To finish it off the squeeze of lemon adds some Vitamin C to help keep your immune system strong. It is easy to swap out vegetables based on what you have on hand or what is in season around you.
Veggie & Chickpea Soup
Makes 10 servings
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1/2 large onion, peeled & chopped
- 2-3 carrots, thinly sliced
- 1-2 small hot peppers, finely chopped (I used Aji Limo from my farmers market)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 small head of cabbage, shredded
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 10 cups water or low-sodium veggie broth
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or chopped tomatoes)
- 4 cups chopped leafy greens (I used rainbow chard)
- 1 lemon, juice & zest
Heat a large stockpot over medium heat on the stove top and add in the celery, onion, carrots, and hot peppers. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding in a few tablespoons of water as needed to prevent sticking.
Once the vegetables have softened, sprinkle in the seasonings (bay leaves through black pepper) and cook for about a minute. Next stir in the cabbage, chickpeas and water or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Partially cover and let cook for 30 minutes. The cabbage should be softened and the other vegetables cooked through.
Remove from heat, fish out your bay leaves and stir in the tomatoes and leafy greens. Place the lid back on for 5 minutes to let the greens wilt slightly. Finish it off with the lemon juice and zest. Taste and adjust your flavorings as desired.
Enjoy a big warm bowl of nutrients!
What are your favorite soup combinations to stay healthy this time of year?