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Golden Vegetable Chickpea Minestrone with Lemon Parsley Oil (Quick Version)

A medley of fall vegetables, loads of parmesan, and bright lemon parsley oil make this winter vegetarian minestrone soup recipe sing.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Author: The Bojon Gourmet

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
  • 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, cooked until al dente and tossed with olive oil
  • shaved parmesan, for serving
  • Lemon Parsley Oil, for serving (below)

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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.

Notes

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.
Nutritional values are based on one of eight servings.

Nutrition

Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 400mg | Potassium: 943mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 8400IU | Vitamin C: 28.5mg | Calcium: 199mg | Iron: 4.9mg
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