Friday O had a baseball game and following that, the league’s annual Family Hot Dog Night. Saturday morning started with a freezing cold and drizzly soccer game for M. Saturday evening, we huddled in Rock Cats Stadium with many other spectators, wondering if the pouring rain was going to mean a cancelled game. Lucky for all of us, the rain stopped and the game went on. O and other players in the league got to go onto the field before the game and sit in the dugout and stand on the field during the performance of the National Anthem. Some of the players were kind enough to stop over and autograph hats or baseballs for them but what the kids were most excited about was that the players were talking to them and high-fiving them. Sunday was Mother’s Day and I hope everyone had a lovely day celebrating. I was beyond spoiled with breakfast in bed prepared by Lane and the kiddos, lunch and The Great Gatsby with Lane while the kiddos spent some time celebrating with their mother, and dinner out at a local tapas restaurant that we love. Monday, my “baby” sister celebrated her college graduation and I could only celebrate in spirit as we have two kiddos to shuffle around, and I’m puppy sitting for my dads while they traveled to Atlanta for graduation. It has been a busy seven days, and when you throw in baseball practice on Monday, soccer practice Tuesday and having to make a “nothing-like-the-last-minute!” trip to a seamstress yesterday, something had to give. If you couldn’t tell, I hadn’t spent much time in my kitchen since around Thursday night.
I did get to make a great soup for dinner, and I’m finally getting a moment to share it today. Last week was a shock to many when the temperatures hovered in the mid-fifties after we had been spoiled with seventy-plus degree weather the week before. After shuffling the kiddos to activities on Monday and Tuesday, I like to make an easy but comforting dinner on Wednesday. Wednesdays, it’s just me and Lane and I like to be able to have dinner with a quick clean-up and then enjoy a TV show on the couch that doesn’t involve any talking animals (we really know how to live it up!). This is a simple tomato-based soup with chickpeas and pasta. It’s very filling, and I love chickpeas as a healthy source of protein and fiber. It’s a great soup for “clean out the fridge day” as well. Have some zucchini or green beans that need to be used up? Toss them in. Have some leftover chicken? Toss it in. No chickpeas? Use white or kidney beans instead. Don’t like spinach? Use some Swiss chard or kale. This is going to be a staple for soup and sandwich night at our house for a while. With a sprinkling of Parmesan on top.
Chickpea Vegetable Soup
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (or 1/2 of a 28 oz. can), with juices
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- 1 C. dry small pasta (shells or elbows recommended)
- 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 2 C. cooked chickpeas)
- 5 oz. fresh or frozen spinach
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- generous pinch red chili flakes (optional)
- freshly grated Parmesan for serving (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the onion, celery and carrot to the olive oil and stir to combine.
Saute about 7 minutes until softened but not browned (turn down the heat if you find they are browning).
Add the garlic to the mixture and saute for 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste.
Add the diced tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock and dried oregano and stir to completely combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil.
Stir in the pasta, chickpeas, and spinach.
Simmer about 10 minutes, until the pasta is tender.
Add salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste.
To serve, top each serving with additional chili flakes and Parmesan cheese, as desired.
Makes 6 generous servings.
Source: slightly adapted from Foodess