You might consider it a bit audacious to make chickpea soup with vegan noodles entirely from scratch, but once you discover how easy it is, you just might keep that soup pot out for the duration.
The audacity of scratch
‘Make away with no way’ – that the simple quote from The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama that was just the inspiration for my creation of this chickpea soup recipe. The ‘no way’ part came as a consequence of absolutely no canned chickpeas to be found in our neighborhood shops. This happens occasionally, but I didn’t want to wait for ‘next time’ for soup, because I had homemade vegan noodles on my mind.
Chickpeas – from dried to soaked
This bold, but simple action was required to remedy the chickpea shortage. It involved some ridiculously simple steps. If you read my previous post about cooking flavorful black beans, a few of these steps will look eerily familiar. That’s because the process of cooking beans isn’t audacious at all. It’s the wisdom of the ancients resolving our canned chickpea shortage.
1. Thoroughly rinse 2 cups of dry chickpeas. Pick out any broken ones or stones.
2. Place the chickpeas in a cooking pot and cover them with water (about 3 times as much).
3. Cover and soak overnight. My practice, whenever possible, is to soak beans overnight. This helps with digestion and with cooking time. In the case of chickpeas, I’ve discovered that boiling them for a quick soak or cooking them for hours because they weren’t soaked, to begin with, can result in tattered beans. Ultimately, it’s your decision whether or not to soak your chickpeas, but be warned that you could find yourself fishing out chickpea skins if you skip this step.
4. Once your beans are soaked, you want to drain them and rinse them well. Do the same for the soaking pot – even if you are using it to cook the chickpea soup.
For soaks sake
I won’t pretend that there aren’t differing opinions when it comes to cooking beans particularly, soaking them. Everyone agrees that soaking beans reduces cooking time and just like my chickpea example, the longer you cook beans until they are tender throughout, the more the outer layer of the bean will break down. Great if you’re making refried beans, not so great if you want your beans to hold their shape.
The more important reason why soaking beans is a great idea is that the longer beans soak, the more they reduce their capacity to create indigestion. Soaking helps break down the complex sugars found in beans. Although I don’t normally do this, I’ve also seen it recommended to change the soaking water a few times if beans bother you.
If you aren’t so bothered by beans, you might opt for the quick soak method which is to boil the beans for 2-3 minutes and then cut the heat and allow them to soak for about 4 hours. This means that if you start them in the morning, you are good to go for chickpea soup in the evening. Just remember that especially ff your chickpeas are a bit old (it’s difficult to tell, as the packages usually aren’t dated), you may have skins to contend with.
Herbs and spices for the duration
In a previous life, the only ingredient I added to beans was a bit of salt. It’s the way I was taught or read or probably saw in some meal plan in another of my random diet books. For the most part, the results (of the beans, not the diet) were exactly as intended. Cooked beans. Nutritious, less expensive than canned, but not exactly audacious.
With a bit of a red face, I’ll admit that it didn’t dawn on me that you could create different flavor profiles as the beans cooked until I started using lentils regularly. I rarely cook lentils without adding flavoring ingredients during the cooking process. Sometimes, if I’m making something like Ethiopian lentils, it’s a spice blend. And even if the goal isn’t to have the beans break down the way we do with lentils, adding flavoring ingredients at the start of cooking yields more flavorful beans.
Go for dry
Long-simmering times and dry herbs were meant for each other. They rehydrate as they cook and slowly release and built flavor the longer the pot simmers. Yes, I’m getting excited about dry herbs. You should always keep your basics, like thyme, oregano, basil and bay leaves in stock. I experimented a bit with the chickpeas and landed on a combination of thyme, oregano and bay leaves and then added only 2 spices – ground cumin and smoked paprika.
If you aren’t a regular user of smoked paprika now’s the time. Cheeky and uniquely audacious, smoked paprika has the flavor of charred red peppers. We prefer the hot version, but you can also get a milder version if you don’t want the heat. It’s one to add to your spice regulars. Great flavor and a beautiful color. And you thought I added tomatoes to my soup. Nope. Just 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika.
A touch of veg
As the chickpeas simmered, I did a separate sauté of onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. That’s the veggie part of chickpea soup. Cooking the veggies separately allows them to release their sugars and a long simmer in the pot could impact their integrity. We don’t want mushy carrots for this one. You’ll want to do this before you get to the noodles. Just leave them in the pan until the chickpeas are tender and you have the noodles ready to go. Then add the veggies and be sure the pot is at a medium simmer before you get to the finale of this adventure – homemade vegan noodles (pasta).
How do you make vegan noodles from scratch?
This is my standard noodle/pasta recipe. I first tested it with lentils and homemade vegan pasta (one of our favorite meals) and it’s stuck with me ever since. This is likely because I am no pasta maker and this recipe is seriously foolproof. Because my noodles got a little sticky and uncooperative, I gave them a bit of a twist. I also discovered that laying them on parchment paper makes them easier to pick up and add to the pot.
My advice when you prepare them is to first, leave your perfectionism in another room. Noodles are individuals and that’s what makes them so fun. Also, they will expand when they hit the cooking pot and won’t look like the machine-produced kind you get at the store. Finally, slow down! Add a few at a time, they won’t overcook. Gently stir the pot from time-to-time to make room for more, but don’t stir too hard or your noodles might decide to stick together. It’s also important to keep the pot simmering, so be bashful if you need to adjust the heat.
I’ve been making a lot of these noodles lately because they just do something wonderful when they hit the pot. And although the risks have been minimal, you may want to avoid heavier flours like whole wheat for this one. It can be accomplished (I’ve tried it), but your pasta will be heavy. If you take this route, try to make them thinner. And if you are one of those folks with a pasta maker, I’ll leave you to your device.
Taking audacious actions, even small risks like making your soup entirely from scratch might be daunting, but you’ll never get there if you don’t try. And although I promise, nothing is daunting about this recipe, sometimes, what we aspire to requires bold action. And that action is on you. You hold the aspiration and you don’t have time to wait for someone to achieve it for you. You are the change instigator and master of your goals. Keep walking the path, straight toward your goals and you’ll get there. That’s the audacity of hope. Peace.Print
Learn to make audacious and uncomplicated chickpea soup with vegan noodles entirely from scratch for a wonderfully delicious and satisfying main soup event.
- 2 cups dry chickpeas (garbanzo beans), soaked overnight or see notes for quick soaking
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 12 cups of vegetable broth, water or a mix
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Chopped parsley or chives for garnish (optional)
- 1 cup flour (you may find whole wheat flour a bit heavy)
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ – ¾ cups of water
- Be sure to drain and rinse the soaked chickpeas and the soaking pot if you are using it to make the soup.
- Add the chickpeas, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika and 12 cups of vegetable broth to a large soup pot. Mix everything so that the spices are dispersed.
- Bring the pot to a boil and then immediately reduce it to simmer, cover the pot and simmer the chickpeas until they are tender (1 ½ – 2 hours).
- As the chickpeas are simmering, heat a skillet or pan over medium heat and add the onion, carrot, and celery. Sauté the veggies for 5-8 minutes until the onion starts to get translucent and the veggies a bit soft. Add the garlic and continue cooking for another 30 seconds. Take the pan off the heat and set it aside until the chickpeas are tender.
- To make the noodles, in a medium bowl, mix the flour and salt. Slowly start adding the water ¼ cup at a time until you form a dough that holds together in a ball and it not so sticky that you can’t handle it easily. Knead it with your hand as you add the water so you can easily tell if you need to add more water and flour if you get it too moist.
- The dough will be a bit shaggy, so be sure to add a layer of flour when you lay it out on your work surface. You can also split the dough in half if this makes it easier to work with.
- Roll the dough flat, about ¼ inch thick and cut it into strips about 1 x 4 inches. Give the strips a few twists to make them easier to handle. Lay each noodle on a plate or parchment paper. Don’t stack them or they will stick together. If they do, you can reform them a bit as you add them to the pot. You’ll get some odd sizes, but that just your proof that it’s all homemade. Something to celebrate.
Finish the soup
- To finish the soup can cook the noodles, start by adding the cooked vegetables. Bring the pot to a rolling simmer and start adding the noodles a few at a time. When you’ve added them all, taste one (or more) to ensure they are cooked. They take about 1 minute to cook.
- Serve the soup in bowls and garnish with chopped parsley or chives if desired.
- To soak the chickpeas, add the 2 cups of dried in a soup pot and cover them with at least 3 times the amount of water. Let them soak overnight. To quick soak, add 2 cups of dried chickpeas to 6 cups of water and bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Cut the heat, cover the pot and let them soak for 4 hours. In both cases, be sure to drain and rinse the chickpeas before you start cooking them.
- You can use 12 cups of pre-packaged veggie broth for this recipe. I used 12 cups of water with 4 veggie cubes and it was flavorful.
- You can cook the vegetables and make the noodles at any point while the chickpeas cook. To keep the noodles from drying too much, sprinkle them with flour, add a layer of parchment paper and cover that with a towel.
- Chickpea soup easily reheats on the stove or in the microwave. It can be frozen as well. Thaw it in the fridge for best results.
- Category: Soups & Stews
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: chickpea soup