Food, Recipes

Vegan Chickpea Farro Soup (From Back To The Cutting Board)

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Do you have a favorite vegan cookbook? I’ve seen my share of cookbooks over the years, and Back to the Cutting Board by Emmy-winning author and chef Christina Pirello, MFN, still managed to impress and inspire me. Her approach is very no-nonsense, eschewing complicated or faddish programs in favor of whole, seasonal, plant-based, passionate cooking. The title refers to the heirloom cutting board she inherited from her grandmother, and that spirit of creating food with love–whether you cook for yourself or for your entire family–runs through the beautifully illustrated book. If you’re also interested in the holistic angle without too much hocus pocus (as I am), this book is for you. I can’t wait to mull over her sections about yin-yang in cooking and how to stay oh-so-in-tune with the seasons. Here’s an excerpt from the book.
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This could easily be my favorite soup in the world and I love most soups. But my love of farro has taken my soup making to new heights. This favorite of Juliet’s (yes, that Juliet . . . ) is rich in fiber and magnesium and high in protein. Add protein-packed chickpeas and you have the perfect marriage of ingredients.

Vegan Chickpea Farro Soup

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 01 hour and 10 minutes
Total time: 01 hour and 20 minutes
Yield: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 4-5 fingerling potatoes, unpeeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed well and soaked for 1 hour with 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup farro, rinsed well
  • 4-5 cups spring or filtered water
  • to taste sea salt
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh basil, freshly minced, for serving

Directions

1. Set a soup pot over medium heat with the olive oil, onion, and garlic.
2. When the onion begins to sizzle, add the crushed red pepper flakes to your taste and sauté until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Stir in the celery, carrot, and potatoes and sauté for 1 minute.
4. Drain the soaked chickpeas and rinse them well. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and farro to the pot and stir to combine.
5. Add the water, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the chickpeas are soft, about 1 hour.
6. Season to your taste with salt and simmer for 5 minutes more. Ladle into bowls and serve hot, garnished with fresh basil.

Also see: South Africa Squash & Chickpea Stew

Vegan Roasted Tomato Soup With Broccoli Potato Medallions

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Photo: Maja Danica Pecanic

Christina Pirello

Christina Pirello

Christina Pirello is the Emmy Award-winning host of the national public television series "Christina Cooks." In 1983, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and fought her way back to robust good health through her zest for life and an alternative nutritional approach. Her latest book is Back To The Cutting Board.
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