Winter minestrone.

In between this season’s feasts, sometimes it’s nice to have a bit of soup, crusty bread, and a night of very little thinking, and maybe a good book or some bad TV. This is an easy soup you can make with stuff you already have in your cupboards and fridge, and it’s great for weeknights when you want something hot and wholesome in a hurry.

Chickpea Minestrone

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 stalks of celery, halved lengthwise and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, quartered lengthwise and chopped
  • 1 leek, white and light-green part only, finely chopped
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced (about one cup)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 19 oz. can chickpeas
  • 1 5 1/2 oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, sweat onions, celery, and carrots with olive oil, about three minutes. Stir in leeks and sweet potatoes, then pour in stock and water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.

Drain and rinse chickpeas, then add to the pot as well. Stir in tomato paste, pepper, marjoram, oregano, thyme, and cumin. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Before serving, stir in parsley and Parmesan. Garnish with a few drops of good olive oil, and serve with fresh bread.

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