Chickpea Rice Soup

Cold and flu season is upon us. This is evident in that people around me seem to be dropping like flies with illness.  The latest person to start coughing up a storm is my boyfriend, Jacques. Lucky for him that he lives with a chef. As soon as I heard the coughing start this morning, I boiled some water for mint, ginger, cayenne tea to help loosen some of that stuffiness in his chest, and immediately got to vegetable chopping to make a batch of soup. While moms and grandmas for centuries have made chicken soup for their ailing loved ones, us vegheads have to get a little creative. Instead of chicken, chickpeas seemed to be the perfect vegan alternative.  The soup was definitely inspired by what I had on hand, but also followed a traditional mire poix base (carrots, onions and celery).  The result is a hearty, nutrient dense soup that heals. I even sneaked in a bit of sea vegetable in the form of kombu in the broth for added minerals.  I didn’t exactly measure my ingredients, so here’s a estimation for the sake of sharing a recipe, add or subtract seasoning to your preference.


Chickpea Rice Soup 
Ingredients 
1 T olive oil 
2 carrots chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 medium white onion, chopped 
1/4 C nutritional yeast, optional
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp basil
4 C water
1 inch piece of kombu 
1 T tamari
1/2 C pre-cooked rice
1/2 C pre-cooked chickpeas
sea salt and black pepper to taste


Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion, sprinkle with a pinch of salt.  Cook for 7-10 minutes, until the vegetables soften and start to brown slightly. Add nutritional yeast, thyme and basil and stir so the veggies are well coated.
2. Pour in the water, stirring while adding to deglaze the pot. Add kombu. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
3.  Stir in the chickpeas and rice and simmer for five more minutes until they are heated. Season with tamari and black pepper and sea salt, if needed.  You may remove the kombu, or eat it.

Serve in your “patient’s” favorite bowl because food will always taste better when you’re sick if it’s presented in a fun way. 🙂

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