Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

A medley of fall vegetables, loads of parmesan, and bright lemon parsley oil make this cozy golden vegetable chickpea minestrone sing. This post was created in collaboration with La Brea Bakery.

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

In many ways, I have La Brea Bakery to thank for the existence of this site. 8 years ago, I was deep in a sourdough phase after inheriting some starter from a friend who got a jar off of Craig’s List (gotta love San Francisco!) Breads from the La Brea Bakery was my bible, and I blithely baked my way through loaf after loaf. If you’ve ever baked sourdough, you know the guilt of having to discard precious starter in order to feed your baby. I hated wasting all that lovely organic wheat flour, so I would try to find ways of using it in non-bread recipes: pancakes, waffles, flatbreads, and crackers.

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

But I couldn’t find a good sourdough cracker recipe to save my life. The blogosphere was a different landscape back then. There was no Instagram, no Pinterest, and most food blogs had tiny photos (or none at all). I tried the two recipes I’d unearthed online, but they both called for baking soda, which gave the crackers a dry, brittle texture and no sour flavor as the alkaline baking soda canceled out the lactic acid that gives sourdough its signature tang.

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

So I made up my own recipe, based on my favorite non-sourdough crackers, swapping in spelt flour and adding in herbs or nutritional yeast as I saw fit. We became obsessed with these crackers, Jay dubbing them “crackhead crackers” and encouraging me to share the recipe online in the form of a food blog.

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

So at his prompting, I created a Blogspot account and the rest is history.

Since then, I’ve cut back on my gluten intake for the sake of my digestion, reserving it for special occasions (and preferably in more readily digestible sourdough form). This was one such occasion. When Eva invited me to join her and a handful of other blogger friends in Washington State for a La Brea Bakery weekend of cooking, creating, and eating, I packed up my digestive enzymes and got on a plane.

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

At La Brea Bakery, they still use the same slow-fermentation methods and original starter that, like me, were born in LA in the ‘80’s. Back then, La Brea Bakery was the only local artisanal bread around. I used to tuck a couple thick slices of their olive bread and some provolone cheese into my lunches all through high school, and I still have a major soft spot for the open crumb and large air holes in their loaves.

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

Up in Washington, the drizzly Pacific Northwest weather provided the perfect excuse to hole up in our cabin, wood-burning stove blazing, while we took turns cooking, shooting, and sitting around the living room editing photos and chatting about all things food. We feasted all weekend, La Brea Bakery loaves taking center stage or playing back-up roles to every dish, the scent of parbaked bread wafting from the oven. There was a cocktail hour feast with an epic cheese plate, Shelly’s Roasted Grape Crostini with Chevré and Rosemary, and Krissy’s Smokey Aubergine Spread. There was a luxurious brunch of Natalie’s Coconut French Toast with Poached Apples and Pecans, and a big pan of Trisha’s Shakshuka with Chèvre and Fresh Herbs.

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley OilGolden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley OilGolden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley OilGolden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley OilGolden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

For dinner, Sasha served up a Fall Panzanella with Roasted Squash and Creamy Lemon Pepper Dressing, which I accompanied with a big pot of golden vegetable chickpea minestrone and hunks of La Brea Bakery’s Seeded Grain Loaf. Eva capped off dinner with the prettiest Apple Raisin Pecan Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel made with blushing pink pearl apples and La Brea Bakery’s Sweet Pecan Loaf.

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley OilGolden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

I’ve been making versions of this vegetarian minestrone soup for a couple of years now, trading in different beans, veggies, and pasta shapes as I see fit, sometimes adding cabbage or kale, and making different types of pesto to top it with. It always tastes cozy and nourishing, and we always serve it with a hunk of crusty bread for sopping up the broth. When I do choose to eat gluten, I go for loaves that have whole grains or lots of seeds (or both!) for a nutritional boost. These fibrous ingredients break up the gluten structure of the bread, resulting in a denser crumb that’s easier to digest and perfect for sopping up brothy soup as well. That place where savory broth and rich olive oil soak into wheaty crumb kissed with seeds and whole grains is gustatory heaven.

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

For this golden vegetable chickpea minestrone, I used chickpeas and fall veggies – potatoes, yellow beets, carrots, and winter squash – for a soup full of fall hues. The bites of yellow beet are always an earthy surprise, giving the broth a pretty color to boot. A puddle of lemon parsley oil brightens the soup, and lots of parmesan, both on top and in the broth, add umami to the vegetarian dish; though you can easily make the soup vegan by leaving out the cheese. Similarly if you prefer a gluten-free dinner, use GF pasta in the soup and serve with toasted slices of La Brea Bakery’s multi-grain gluten-free bread.

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

I’ve included two versions of this golden vegetable chickpea minestrone recipe. The first is the quicker version that uses cooked chickpeas from a can or jar and a little flavor boost from veggie bouillon. I made this version at our retreat to save time and to avoid hogging the kitchen. The second version gets extra flavor from cooking dried chickpeas with aromatics and using the cooking liquid as broth. It’s the version I make at home when there’s time for soaking beans and giving them a long, slow cook on the stove. The chickpea broth has a robust, clean taste that reminds me of good chicken stock, and it adds backbone to the soup. In both versions, feel free to make the components (beans, soup, parsley oil, pasta) ahead of time and reheat to order; everything will keep, refrigerated airtight, for up to several days. The soup gets even more flavorful as it sits and the flavors meld.

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil

I hope you enjoy this golden vegetable chickpea minestrone as much as we do! Many thanks to La Brea Bakery for sponsoring this post and our blogger weekend retreat, as well as continuing to make delicious artisanal breads the slow way.

*Thanks for reading! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on FacebookInstagram, or Pinterest, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this golden vegetable chickpea minestrone, I’d love to see! Tag me on Instagram @The_Bojon_Gourmet and  #bojongourmet.*

Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil (Quick Version)
Yields: 8 servings
 
This version uses a couple of shortcuts (canned or jarred chickpeas, veggie bouillon cubes) while still yielding a fairly quick and super tasty soup. For both versions, feel free to play around with the ingredients. White beans of any stripe make a good chickpea stand-in; parsnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, and turnips can all be swapped in for the other veggies; throw in a bunch of stemmed kale leaves at the end if you’d like some extra greenery; or try different pasta shapes or different soft herbs in the parsley oil. Either way the soups keep brilliantly for the better part of a week – the flavors just get better and better. See below for the extra-flavorful version of this soup that starts with dried chickpeas.
Ingredients
  • Crusty bread (such as La Brea Bakery Seeded Grain Loaf), for serving
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally into ¼-inch thick ovals
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups 1-inch cubes peeled butternut squash
  • ½ pound (225 g) yellow fingerling potatoes, sliced ½-inch thick
  • 1 small yellow beet, peeled, quartered, cut into ¼-inch thick pieces
  • a few sprigs fresh sage or thyme
  • 1 or 2 parmesan rinds (about 2 inches square)
  • 6 cups (1.5 L) water
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes (I prefer these)
  • 2 (13-ounce / 385 ml) jars or cans cooked chickpeas, drained (~2 ½ cups)
  • 18 ounces (525 ml) jarred whole peeled tomatoes, drained, seeded, and cut into large chunks
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8-10 ounces (280 g) dry shells, macaroni, or other small pasta (I like these GF shells) cooked until al dente and tossed with olive oil
  • shaved parmesan, for serving
  • Lemon Parsley Oil, for serving (below)
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly, 3-5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook another 3 minutes, then add the squash, potatoes, beets, herbs, parmesan rind, water, bouillon, and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender but still holding a shape, 10-20 minutes, adding more water if needed to make a brothy soup. Stir in the tomatoes and a few good grinds of pepper, then taste, adding salt if you feel the soup needs it.
  2. Divide the pasta among shallow bowls, ladle in some soup, and serve with parsley oil, shaved parmesan, and more black pepper, with crusty bread on the side. The soup and pasta can be stored separately, refrigerated airtight, for up to 4 days.

 
Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone (Slower, Extra-Flavorful Version)
Yields: 8 servings
 
This version starts with dried chickpeas and uses their cooking liquid to build a flavorful broth. This is the version I make when I can start it the day before, soaking and cooking the broth ahead of time.
Ingredients
Beans and broth:
  • 1 cup (200 g) dried chickpeas
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a few sprigs fresh sage or thyme
  • 1 or 2 parmesan rinds (about 2 inches square or the equivalent)
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
Soup:
  • Crusty bread (such as La Brea Bakery Seeded Grain Loaf), for serving
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 medium carrots, scrubbed and sliced diagonally into ¼-inch thick ovals
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups 1-inch cubes peeled butternut squash
  • ½ pound (225 g) yellow fingerling potatoes, sliced ½-inch thick
  • 1 small yellow beet, peeled, quartered, cut into ¼-inch thick pieces
  • 18 ounces (525 ml) jarred whole peeled tomatoes, drained, seeded, and cut into large chunks
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8-10 ounces (280 g) dry shells, macaroni, or other small pasta (I like these GF shells) cooked until al dente and tossed with olive oil
  • shaved parmesan, for serving
  • Lemon Parsley Oil, for serving (below)
Instructions
Make the beans:
  1. Soak the beans for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight in cool water. Drain the beans and place them in a large saucepan along with the garlic, bay leaves, herbs, parmesan rind, and enough water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and partially cover the pot. Simmer until the beans are almost tender, 30 minutes. Add the salt and continue to cook until the beans are very tender, adding more water if needed. Remove from the heat and let the beans cool in their cooking liquid if not using right away. Remove the bay leaves, herb branches, and parmesan rinds. The beans can be made up to 3 days head and refrigerated airtight in their broth.
Make the soup:
  1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly, 3-5 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook another 3 minutes, then add the squash, potatoes, beets, herbs, and the chickpeas and their cooking liquid, plus water as needed to cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender but still holding a shape, 10-20 minutes, adding more water as needed to make a brothy soup. Stir in the tomatoes and a few good grinds of pepper, then taste, adding salt if you feel the soup needs it.
  2. Divide the pasta among shallow bowls, ladle in some soup, and serve with parsley oil, shaved parmesan, and more black pepper, with crusty bread on the side. The soup and pasta can be stored separately, refrigerated airtight, for up to 4 days.

 
Lemon Parsley Oil
Yields: about 1 cup
 
Add a spoonful of this to your minestrone soup, spread extra on sandwiches or toss with pasta.
Ingredients
  • Leaves from 1 bunch parsley
  • zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ½ cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place the parsley, lemon zest and juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt in a blender or small food processor. Puree until fairly smooth. Store refrigerated airtight for up to 1 week.

 

8 thoughts on “Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil”

  1. I made this for lunch today, after soaking the chickpeas last night, and cooking the broth from scratch this morning. It was absolutely divine. I am already counting down the minutes until I can have it for lunch again tomorrow.

  2. After all the rich Thanksgiving type food this recipe is what the doctored ordered. The recipe looks and sounds amazing and your food photography is STUNNING! I’m pinning this for later!

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