Last week I realized I hadn't had Italian Wedding Soup since I stopped eating meat. All the recipes I found used "vegan meatballs" and I didn't want that. My favorite non-vegetarian version of this soup had chick pea sized meatballs and that got me thinking: WHY DON'T I USE CHICK PEAS IN PLACE OF MEATBALLS?!?!?!?! Here is what I came up with. It took under an hour from start to finish. The end result is a hearty vegetable soup that, with a salad and garlic bread, makes a satisfying meal.
extra virgin olive oil
1.5 cup finely diced onion
3 cloves garlic, two minced
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced celery
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced basil
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
8 cups vegetable stock
1 cup uncooked ditalini or orzo pasta
1.5 cans chick peas, drained and rinsed until water runs clear *
1 8 oz package of spinach +
salt and pepper
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion and the two minced garlic cloves and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add the carrot and celery and cook for 7 minutes.
- Stir in the oregano and basil and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the stock and parsley and bring to boil and reduce heat.
- Add pasta and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the chick peas and simmer for 10 minutes.
- In a saute pan with high heat add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the last garlic clove. After clove starts to color, about 3-4 minutes, add all the spinach and cover. Cook for 2 minutes. Turn heat off and using tongs stir the spinach. Cover and let sit off heat for another 2 minutes.
- Remove garlic clove from spinach and add the spinach to the soup. Simmer for another 5 minutes and remove from heat.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
* This may seem annoying, but 1 can was not enough and 2 cans seemed like too many. Use your left overs on a salad or something. Or roast them. Or just put 2 full cans in the soup. It's up to you, I don't care.
+ You could also use a pack of frozen chopped spinach. Thaw it and then drain the water. Skip step 5 and just add the thawed spinach to pot in step 6.