Hearty and vegan? Is it possible? Yes, of course! We pulled recipes from a few vegan cookbooks hitting the market this year and asked one of our food photographers and stylists, Maria Siriano, who happens to be vegan, for her thoughts on the recipes.
Testing Notes from Maria
This recipe isn't ostentatious and doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, and that's exactly what makes it such great comfort food. It hits all the right notes of traditional homemade chicken noodle soup, but without any meat. The whole-wheat rotini made the soup feel especially substantial compared to flimsier egg noodles in most chicken noodle soups. The starch from the pasta thickens the broth, giving it a full body that is almost stew-like. Served with crackers or a nice chunk of bread, it makes a wonderfully cozy winter dinner, proving that a plant-based soup — even one inspired by a meaty classic — can still warm you up.
Vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 quarts (8 cups) low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup cooked chickpeas
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish
Crackers or bread, for serving (optional)
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, and bay leaf and sauté until softened but not browned. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
Add the noodles and chickpeas and cook until the noodles are just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Top with parsley and serve with crackers or bread.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months.
Reprinted with permission from Homestyle Vegan: Easy, Everyday Plant-Based Recipes © 2016 by Amber St. Peter, Page Street Publishing.