Sunday, June 12, 2011

Chickpea & Wild Rice Soup: Simple But Delicious Pantry Fare for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I love my beans. It would be hard for me to choose, but if I found I could only cook and eat one bean for the rest of my life, it would be the chickpea. Sure I would miss my other beans but chickpeas are so delicious and so versatile (hummus, soups, salads, roasted, ground up for chickpea flour and falafel, etc.I could go on and on...).

In this case, I wanted a relatively quick and easy soup for dinner and I wanted chickpeas in it, so two cans of no-salt chickpeas came out of the pantry cupboard. I also wanted to use up some basic veggies and a big bunch of thyme from the crisper drawer and a container of cooked mixed wild and brown rice in the fridge. All of the makings of a "souper" bean soup. For the smoky taste I was craving, I added smoked Spanish paprika at the end for a simple, satisfying and delicious vegan "pantry" soup.

Chickpea & Wild Rice Soup
by Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 6-8)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 cup Yukon gold potatoes, chopped small
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
2 (15 oz) cans no-salt chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups cooked wild and or brown rice
1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute another minute, then add bay leaves. Pour in veggie stock and water, add potatoes, thyme and chickpeas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until vegetables are mostly cooked through. Add chickpeas and cooked rice and simmer an additional 15 minutes so flavors are blended. Stir in paprika and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Notes/Results: So good. Really. There are soups I make that I like, soups I really like and then there are soups that I go back for seconds--even if I am not that hungry, and crave more later on. This is one of those soups. The thyme-laced broth is especially good and rich with the hint of smokiness from the paprika. You could blend in some of the chickpeas to thicken it up but the lighter broth is lighter for the warmer weather. The wild rice adds a great chewiness that goes well with the chickpeas. Note: The rice will soak up a lot of the liquid in the leftovers, so when reheating you may want to add additional veggie stock or water if you want a "brothier" soup--or enjoy it chunky, either way its good. A throw-together soup that I will happily make again.

You can always tell when summer weather starts to hit as the bulk of Souper Sundays entries turn to salads. (Not everyone eats soup year-round like I do!) ;-) Let's head to the Souper Sundays kitchen where we have lots of salads, a couple of soups and even a delicious sandwich to drool over.

My pal girlichef has a bowel of Soupa de Letra (Alphabet Soup) to share this week and says, "It was one of those "the cupboards are bare" type of days when you start scouring the shelves and freezer and trying to decide what you can pull together. Well, I had no patience for it, but Mexi spied a package of pasta that reminded him of the Sopa de Letra that his mami made for him when he was a kid. His simple, comfort version includes nothing more than the pasta, a bit of oil, some tomatoes and some broth. He started heating and stirring and browning and smelling up the kitchen all nice and soup-like when the memories of the Alphabet Soup I ate as a kid came flooding back...and they all had mixed veggies bobbing in the broth along with those little letters. I knew there was a package of frozen mixed veg in the freezer. And the rest, as they say, is history."

Janet from The Taste Space has both a soup and a salad this week. Her soup is a colorful Carrot and Roasted Red Pepper Soup, about which she says, "The name sounds similar to my old stand-by, and with roasted red pepper as a main ingredient, I knew I would like it. I just didn’t know I would love it. The result was a complex, but still light and creamy soup. The sweetness from the roasted red peppers works well with the carrots, and the pureed sweet potato adds a creamy sweetness as well. I found the sherry to be a welcome flavour, and a great way to cook the vegetables without any oil. But the secret ingredient was the miso. It really added a depth of flavour that had you begging for more."

For her salad Janet made a Spinach, Orange, and Toasted Almond Salad with a Balsamic Vinaigrette. She says, "Armed with pounds of juicy Navel oranges, I turned to Radiant Health, Inner Wealth for inspiration. Tess loves to use fresh citrus juice in her cooking, and I was drawn to this recipe because it included some of my favourite ingredients – baby spinach, orange, almonds. ... So this salad is everything you think it would taste like. It is light and refreshing with baby spinach, juicy oranges, crunchy toasted almonds and the twist is the light balsamic vinaigrette. And do not fear the red onion if you come over to my place to eat (trust me, if I will eat it, it is ok!). :)"

Reeni of Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice created this Zucchini, Chicken and Blueberry Salad and says, "This salad is all kinds of wonderful with it's unique mix of savory, sweet, sour and salty flavors.There's something to be said about a salad that hits on all these flavor points and has lots of different textures. I find them all the more satisfying, especially when eaten as a main dish. It's a formula for success! The plump, juicy blueberries have a burst of natural sweetness that plays off the creamy, tangy feta cheese. Fresh, spinach leaves add an earthiness and raw, zucchini slices bring crispness. Not to forget there's tender bites of chicken and crunchy, sliced almonds too. The brightness of a zesty lemon and basil dressing ties it all together and highlights the flavors to really make them sing!"

Lauren from Healthy. Delicious. is here with her Shaved Asparagus Salad with Bacon & Havarti and says, "This simple shaved asparagus salad is one of my favorite meals lately – I’ve been making it about once a week and I never seem to get tired of it! Combined with salty bacon, buttery cheese, and a quick vinaigrette makes this some of the best asparagus you’ve ever tasted. I especially love the rich, velvety texture of the broken egg yolk as it coats the asparagus. As an added bonus, this salad is incredibly easy to make. If you can cook bacon, you can make this dish! Shaving the asparagus can be a little tedious, but once you get into a groove it only takes a few minutes."

Roz from la bella vita made this lovely Spring Salad with Strawberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette. She says, "Spring is such a wonderful season for garden-fresh salads that are perfect for luncheons, brunches, and teas . . . and most importantly for daily enjoyment. I need my greens, folks! Fresh spring berries add such a wonderful flavor element to a savory salad, whether fresh or in a vinaigrette. Strawberries, in particular, are one of my favorite ways to enhance a spring salad. This recipe knocked my socks off! I was so blown away by how delicious this spring fresh salad is, that I will, without a doubt, make this over and over again!"

Fellow Hawaii blogger Spencer from Live2EatEat2Live Blog made a unique Baked Tofu and Sea Asparagus Salad and says, "A friend of ours dropped off some sea asparagus (he owns the farm). In trying to figure how to prepare it, I came across this post. Substituted sea asparagus for watercress. I didn’t have fresh tofu on hand so used the next best thing. Par-boiled the sea asparagus for a minute, peeled the tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, a splash of rice vinegar, and a bigger splash of toasted sesame oil. No salt, since the sea asparagus was already salty. Ground sesame seeds for garnish. I think the next time I’ll add a small amount of freshly grated ginger."

Another Hawaii blogger making her first appearance at Souper Sundays today is my friend Claudia from Honey From Rock, blogging from The Big Island. Claudia made this salad of Coriander Scallops with Passionate Ginger Dressing. She says, "Then there was this salad of scallops seared with a crushed coriander coating and zippy dressing of passion fruit and ginger. A "keeper", folks. I store my coriander seeds in the freezer, so up until recently, had a tendency to overlook their presence. Now the seeds are out and being crushed on a more regular basis. The flavor really pops, and the crunch of texture they give is awesome too." Welcome to Souper Sundays Claudia! ;-)

Another new face to welcome this week is Carol from There's Always Thyme to Cook, joining us for the first time at Souper Sundays. Carol tried Jamie Oliver's Southern Pecan and Apple Salad and she says, "I knew I'd love this one. Bitter greens, peppery arugula, sliced apples, caramel pecans. Stop right there. CARAMEL PECANS??? ... I loved this salad, it would also be nice with blue cheese crumbled, I guess it wouldn't be Southern, but it would taste good!" Thanks for sharing your salad with Souper Sundays Carol!

And we have one sandwich this week from Graziana at Erbe in Cucina, this Gorgonzola Piadina with Purslane and Aromatic Herbs. Graziana says, "The weather has improved, so and I took the opportunity to spend a peaceful hour to gaze my aromatic herbs. I picked up a few leaves from some of them, and I also harvested the first tender leaves of purslane, a spontaneous herb that grows anywhere in my containers during the summer months. I took some pictures... before using them for this quick piadina (flatbread). ... I used dill, anise and caraway leaves, chives and curly parsley."

Thanks to all my friends--old and new who joined in this week. If you have a soup, salad or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the side bar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. love the round-up this week as well!

  2. How true that recipes change from soups and more towards salads when the weather warms up! I love all of these recipes shared in this round-up Deb! Thanks for all that you do!

  3. I love the soup looks so nutritious =)

  4. I can't even imagine what I would do if I had to choose a favorite bean...I love them ALL! This soup looks delicious. Chickpeas are the perfect substitute for chicken!

    Rumor has it that there are a lot of greens in my CSA future, so all of these souper sunday salads will be crazy inspirational! Great round up!

  5. Oh my...first of all, I love the idea of subbing the wonderful and multipurpose chickpea in place of chicken in this wild rice soup. It looks marvelous! However, if given the choice of only having one bean for the rest of my life..I would probably cry.

    Loved the roundup. I especially think Heather should blow up and mount that picture of her alphabet soup. It's just too darn cute.

  6. Looks like a hearty, meal-in-a-bowl soup that I love, Deb. Love that it can be made any time with pantry staples. :)

  7. Your soup looks really hearty!

  8. Lovely roundup as usual. The alphabet soup caught my eye, and will be on my list of things to make in the near future.

    I haven't had alphabet soup in YEARS, like since I was a kid.

    By the way, Deb, I just e-mailed you a submission for next Sunday, June 19. Hopefully it won't go into your spam folder this time. :)

  9. I like a lighter broth in the warmer weather, too...this sounds so great. And hmmmm...I think maybe I'd pick the chickpea if I had to choose just one, too. I think. Delicious roundup =)

  10. Chickpea and wild rice sounds like a delicious combination. Thanks for the nice welcome!
    Great recipes this week!

  11. Your chickpea soup sounds like something I would love -- hearty and with the hit of smokiness - delicious! Thank you soooooo much for including my salad! You're so good to me!

  12. i love chickpeas, too. Hummus is my go-to lunch.

  13. Oh wow you've totally sold me on the rice soup...lovely ideas in this round up.


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)