When your husband decides to become a vegetarian — albeit a fish-eating one — but your teenage boys crave chicken and beef, what’s a wife and mom to do? Over the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time adapting recipes (see my recent recipe for Loaf Pan Lasagna) and cooking up ways to satisfy Tim’s new appetite for meatless meals and my boys’ big-time hunger for meat. In our cookbook, No Whine with Dinner, we have a recipe for Piping-Hot Peanut Butter Soup that’s made with chicken and rice. My kids love it, so I decided to modify it a bit by swapping the chicken with chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and the rice with farro (I’m currently on a farro kick). This soup is hearty, nutritious, filled with fiber, and best of all, it’s a definite palate pleaser!
Whether you’re a vegetarian or not, you are going to adore this luscious winter soup. It’s filled with an array of great-tasting, nutrient-rich ingredients: peanut butter, bell peppers, chickpeas, and farro. (To learn more about farro, tune into our Ancient Grains podcast episode #153.)
Farro is an ancient grain that’s made a comeback recently. It’s clearly a trendy whole grain since Trader Joe’s now offers it in a quick-cook, 10 minute version. I love this product. TJs also makes a 10-minute bulgur and a 10-minute barley. Talk about an easy way to get more whole grains on the table!
Peanut Butter & Chickpea Soup
Makes 6 Servings
Making the switch from the original chicken called for in the recipe to chickpeas was easy. Just open a can, rinse and drain, and voila, a vegetarian soup! If you don’t have farro on hand, by all means, use the 3/4 cup instant brown rice from the original.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 small onion, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium red or orange bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 1½ cups)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- One 32-ounce container all-natural vegetable broth
- One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- One 15-ounce can Garbanzos (AKA chickpeas), drained and rinsed
- 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 cup 10-minute farro
- Roasted peanuts, chopped, optional
1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the pepper softens, an additional 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, curry powder, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, celery seed, and pepper. Cover, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes.
3. Add the chickpeas, peanut butter, and farro and stir well until the peanut butter melts into the soup. Cover, return to a simmer, and cook until the farro is tender, about 10 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Top each serving with peanuts as desired.
Nutrition Information per Serving (1 generous cup): 310 calories, 15g fat (2.5g saturated, 0.2 omega-3), 670 mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 12g protein, 35% vitamin A, 80% vitamin C, 10% iron
I couldn’t resist sharing this photo. This is what it looked like when I set up to take a photo of the soup. My food photography — which, when I’m not with Janice, I do with my iPhone 5 — often entails laying out some old barn board and a bunch of different fabrics and gathering up an array of pretty dishes. I use a white tri-board to bounce light back onto the subject. In other words, I make a mess