Tender, golden chickpea noodles float serenely in a bath of tomatoey broth. In the bowl: greens and roma tomatoes and onions and red pepper. Steam rises in soft curls. A spoon glints blue as the light dies.
I find soup far more enchanting than most other foods. It warms the marrow, gets the blood moving. Brings light to dark, wintery evenings. And it pairs well with a good book and toppling piles of cozy blankets.
Fall has descended over Virginia as a mist. It’s wet and cool and blue-grey. Charlottesville is much like a temperate rainforest. All around me there are the sounds of tiny birds twittering and whistling. Squirrels croak defiantly as they clutch black walnuts in their teeth, scurrying up telephone poles and beneath chain link fences. Wild grape has settled over everything. My yard looks like it’s wearing a heavily-matted green sweater faceted with tiny electric-blue baubles.
The chill in the air makes it perfect weather for eating this nourishing hot soup out on the stoop, watching the sky change from muted pink to velvety dark blue. Slurping broth as the silvery stars pop out against the darkness. As the moon flashes a toothy sideways grin.
This Chickpea Noodle Soup was the result of, um, having almost nothing in the fridge. I’d used up every noodle but the bean variety. I had a can of tomatoes, some sad-looking collards and one red pepper.
This is one of my favorite situations to be in.
What’s that saying? Necessity is the mother of invention?
Some of my best recipes (usually easy, weeknight standards) have come out of the whole there’s nothing in the fridge situation. And that’s exactly why it’s important to have a well-stocked dry pantry and spice cabinet! I’d be a sad cat without my arsenal of weird spices.
This Chickpea Noodle Soup is filling, savory, tomatoey and lightly peppery. It’s nice and complex, with a base of alliums (onion, garlic) and tomato. The 5-spice blend is fennel seed, allspice, turmeric, cumin and black pepper. It’s a tomato-centric soup with lots of veggies and a swirl of creaminess from yogurt at the end. It’s pretty damn good, if I do say so myself.
It features filling chickpea noodles, which are a pretty good substitute for regular noodles! I was surprised at how much I liked them! They satisfy my pasta cravings (I was not expecting this). And they’re high in protein, fiber and complex carbohydrates. Which makes this soup incredibly filling. And this recipe only takes 25 minutes!
I really hope you enjoy this recipe, and that it warms you up on the chilly nights ahead.0