janet @ the taste space

Mediterranean Artichoke, Chickpea and Spinach Soup

In Mains (Vegetarian), Soups on May 22, 2013 at 6:59 AM

Tomato Chickpea and Spinach Soup

I think my pantry-purge has been going the wrong way. I am no longer accumulating new esoteric ingredients but I struggled with whether or not to replenish my staples. Could I live without chickpeas for a few months? Absolutely not. Miso?  I replenished that, too. What about olives? I think I could manage olive-free for 6 months. Artichokes? Well, the best artichokes come from the freezer case at Trader Joe’s so I am excited to wait for those. The plan for now: use up the less-loved ingredients. The ones I can part with for a bit of time.

Now I can strike these from my pantry: artichokes and olives. What could have been a boring vegetable stew was helped with said pantry items. Olives add the salty punch to this spring-like tomato stew with red pepper, mushrooms, artichokes and spinach.

Sometimes I have limited enthusiasm for ingredients that have been stashed at the back of my pantry. Or I only have a limited repertoire for said ingredient. Olives and artichokes are not that wacky, but I am looking for ways to use fun things like kelp noodles, capers, jackfruit, assorted flours (chickpea flour is our staple but I still have some coconut flour, tapioca flour, rice flours and vital wheat gluten), puffed quinoa, dried fruits and nuts. And let’s not forget the things in my freezer: herbs, chopped veggies and fruits, tempeh, and frozen meals ready to go.

Do you have a big pantry or have a select collection of favourite ingredients in your pantry? I personally believe that a well-stocked kitchen makes for a well-prepared cook. It makes cooking easier and fun.

Tomato Chickpea and Spinach Soup

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, Little Thumbs Up event, hosted by Joyce, kitchen flavours, organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen for my little favourite D.I.Y..

Artichoke, Chickpea and Spinach Soup
Adapted from ExtraVeganZa (recipe online here)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
1 cup mushrooms (I used 70g enoki mushrooms, trimmed and coarsely chopped), optional
1 large red pepper, chopped
5 oz tomato paste (1 can)
4 cups water or bean cooking liquid, or more if you want a thinner soup
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1 bunch spinach, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
14 oz can artichokes hearts (I used marinated artichoke hearts, although next time I would chop them smaller)
salt, or to taste

1. In a medium pan over medium heat, heat oil. Once hot, add onion and saute for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, around 2 minutes. Stir in herbs, chickpeas, mushrooms and red pepper, making sure they do not stick to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened.

2. Stir in the tomato paste and water/broth. Bring to a boil, decrease heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, partially covered. Stir in the olives and spinach and cover once more. Allow the spinach to wilt from the heat of the soup, approximately 3 minutes. Season to taste.

Serves 4.

  1. Staple foods are totally excusable purchases! I couldn’t live without peanut flour, oatmeal or cinnamon. Or red pepper flakes. But maybe not on the oatmeal.

    • Haha, funny you mention oatmeal, Laura. I have been having quinoa for breakfast since we are so, so low on oatmeal right now. I tried leftover rice for brekkie which was terrible but quinoa is ok. 🙂

  2. I often buy olives and artichoke and then they don’t get used but I too couldn’t live without chickpeas. I do like to have a few of the more unusual ingredients (for me if not for others) because it means I can make same old meals taste a little different and keep them interesting. Love this soup and must remember to put artichokes in soup – actually I probably have a few neglected ones in a jar in the fridge

    • Me too. I find that ingredients that store well (ie canned olive, sauerkraut, etc) kidn of get pushed aside in my fridge.. and when the opportunity arises, I use them. Now I am working the opposite: how can I use up x, y and z. 🙂

  3. Artichokes! Om nom nom nom. Those are definitely in my pantry on a regular basis. I think my real stash is dried beans and grains–the freezer is always full of different containers of those! This soup sounds great–all pungent with olives and artichokes. 🙂

    • Hey Eileen, Me too. Beans and grains are the biggest bulk of my pantry. I generally only buy fun ingredients like these when they are on sale.. and now I scramble to stick it into a recipe before I move.. haha 🙂

  4. This is like the Sound of Music song of my favourite things. Chickpeas! Artichokes! Olives! Though I’d add mega chilli to this, of course 😉

  5. This looks so flavorful and filling–just perfect in every way! I am definitely all for putting olives in soup. 🙂

  6. that is always a hard balance to find…when to stop buying staples before a move. I’d say I couldn’t possibly live without chickpeas either, but artichokes and olives probably yes. But…maybe not after I taste this stew!

    • Joanne, you are too funny…. the my new question will be “what do I do with my half-package of miso?” when it is time to move. The reason why we have so much stuff is because I have a very hard time throwing things out. 😦

  7. This looks delicious! I’d think about adding in red lentils–I have way too many of those in my kitchen cabinet!

    • That would be different. I am not sure how they would work since it would be way more soupy… regular lentils could definitely work, methinks. But if you try it out, let me know how it goes. 🙂

  8. I would have to replenish chickpeas too, no question! I am terrible at keeping a small pantry and not buying new things- I just love new ingredients and experimenting! You know, if you happen to have too much food to go through and need somewhere to off load said food…..haha just kidding! I know you will get through it all like the champs you and Rob are!

    Oh p.s. I saw Rob the other day on King! I didn’t realize it was him until we had passed though and he looked like he was in a rush. Oh well, tell him I said hi 🙂

    • I figure our good bye party will be a good excuse to serve some foods that I have still around before we leave… I have all this phyllo dough so I plan to make baklava.. But I have given up hope to actually wipe out my pantry. The storeable stuff will go in my brother’s basement – beans, cans, vinegars, etc. If I still have food leftover, I will definitely keep you in mind, though 🙂

  9. I get freaked out without plenty of chickpeas, (any bean really) and coconut milk. 😉 This soup looks wonderful–I love the addition of the artichoke hearts–I really like them in soups. Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays,

  10. This is a beautiful and delicious bowl of soup! I have always been intrigued by artichoke, an ingredient that can hardly be found over here. I’ve once seen it at one of the supermarkets that sell mostly imported fruits and veggies, and the artichoke is EXTREMELY expensive! I have never tried artichoke before, and would love to someday.
    Thank you for linking your lovely soup to LTU!
    It would be great if you could mention Little Thumbs Up somewhere in your post! Much appreciated!
    Hope you have a great and delicious week!

  11. Hi Janet,

    Nice to have you linking up with us at LTU, mushroom event. Your soup looks very comforting to eat 😀


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