With fall weather making an appearance in the northeast, I’ve been craving warming foods and wanting to add deeper flavors with herbs and spices to my cooking. When I was a student, I used to joke that if this whole nutrition thing didn’t pan out, I’d go into business creating a line of vegan soups that don’t suck. I ate a lot of soup as a dietetics student—it was cheap, filling, and fun to experiment with. The hardest part was committing to just one recipe in a given week (I cook when I’m stressed out, which meant I wanted to cook a lot when I was in school), but I guess that’s what freezers and glass Pyrex containers are for.
Even now, soup is one of my go-to foods during busy or stressful times. I recommend soups, chilis, and stews to people I work with in the corporate setting who have minimal time to cook but still want homemade, healthy food that’s delicious and budget-friendly.
Labels matter, though. While I love soup, I have an aversion to the word “stew.” I enjoy plenty of foods that fall into this category, but “stew” is one of the most unsexy words I can think of when it comes to food. Cozy, perhaps, but more, like, “After dinner, let’s put on giant sweaters, binge-watch an episode of that thing we’re watching on Netflix, and then fall asleep reading.”
Anyway, whatever you want to call it, this is a soup that eats like a stew, and it is delicious. It’s savory, smoky, and the tiniest bit spicy. You can easily keep it vegan or add a little extra protein with some cooked chicken sausage. It’s also perfect topped with a poached egg and some parmesan cheese. You could also keep it plant-based by topping it with sliced avocado and hemp hearts. This recipe makes about four servings—great if you want to live off it for a few days, share with that person you like to fall asleep reading next to, or stock the freezer with it for future busy nights you want a calming meal without the hassle of cooking from scratch.
Broccoli Rabe Chickpea Tomato Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomato
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
- (optional) 2 cooked chicken sausages, sliced into half-moons
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 head broccoli rabe, rinsed and chopped
- Heat olive oil in a large stock pot. Sauté onion until translucent, then add garlic. Stir another minute until fragrant.
- Add tomatoes, beans, and spices. If using sausage, add now. Bring to a boil and then lower heat. Allow to simmer on low for 15 minutes.
- Mix in broccoli rabe. If desired, you can thin out with 1-2 cups of water in order to cover the broccoli. Let the soup simmer for about 10 more minutes.
To serve, top with a fried or poached egg and a sprinkle of parmesan or goat cheese. For a vegan twist, top with sliced avocado and hemp hearts.
What’s your favorite fall food?
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