Hello, Norman’s readers! It seems there is no better time to come back to share my recipes than now. At this time, most of us are doing our part to combat the pandemic by staying put at home. This mandatory time in my house has quickly propelled me into the position as head chef of my kitchen. I am now constantly looking to put my pantry items to use in a way that reminds me of when we could all go out to eat at restaurants.
Since it is still weeks before the CSA opens, and we have been limiting our grocery visits for social distancing, my main focus won’t be fresh ingredients. For this recipe, I am utilizing things that you most likely already have on hand, especially if you stocked up in the canned food aisle. The emphasis in these recipes is on practicality, so feel free to use substitutes where needed.
The grain I chose to use is farro because I love the taste and heartiness of it. However, you can use brown rice, quinoa, barley, or any grain you like. This combination of protein-packed chickpeas, healthy fiber, and fragrant vegetables makes a tasteful and balanced bowl of tomato soup.
Not only is this recipe straight-forward, but it is simple to double, and it freezes very well. Here’s a tip: try freezing soup portions in Ziploc bags to have pre-separated servings and to avoid taking up too much freezer space.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 cup of grain (If using farro, soak in water for at least an hour)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 celery rib (peeled and diced)
  • Small handful of parsley leaves (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Small handful of basil leaves (sliced into strands for garnish)
  • Olive oil
  • 5 cups of water
  • Parmesan (optional garnish)
  • Salt & black pepper

mise en place, recipes

Directions:
  1. In a large pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Begin by adding the onion, celery, garlic, and parsley. Stir occasionally while cooking for about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato paste and canned diced tomatoes. Then, add your grains and desired amount of salt&pepper, and your water. Bring this to a boil and then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in chickpeas (with their liquid too) and simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes. Allow soup to cool. Serve with Parmesan, basil, and a thin drizzle of olive oil.

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