Chickpea Orzo Soup with Vegetables

I decided to start up this blog again, but I can’t use 100% plastic-free ingredients anymore. Sometimes it’s hard to afford plastic-free ingredients as a student, so I just do the best I can. In every recipe I post from now on I’ll include a list at the end of the ingredients that did and didn’t have packaging.

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Chickpea Orzo Soup with Vegetables

  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups peeled diced vegetables (I used sweet potato and carrot, but you can also use any combination of winter squash, cauliflower, parsnip, turnip, any kind of potato… vegetable soups are very versatile)
  • 1/2 cup sprouted chickpeas (you can also use cooked chickpeas – check out this post on how to cook dried beans)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (in the tea container)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (in the brown jar)
  • 6 cups water or broth
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo or 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook under translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add vegetables and stir briefly.

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Add chickpeas, oregano, thyme and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

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Add orzo and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes. If you use cooked beans now is the time to add them.

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Add red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir and serve.

Ingredients that were free of packaging:

  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Sweet potato
  • Carrots
  • Oregano – I usually buy spices in bulk at the health food store. This is actually cheaper than buying them in plastic containers at the regular grocery store.
  • Thyme – same as the oregano.

Ingredients that had packaging:

  • Chickpeas – buying chickpeas in a big plastic bag at the grocery store is much more affordable than buying them in bulk at the health food store. But next time I get them I may go to Bulk Barn and reuse an old plastic bag from there. Unfortunately they don’t allow you to fill up reusable containers there because of “cross contamination”. I think this policy is ridiculous because 1. people who are legitimately concerned about cross contamination probably don’t shop at bulk food stores, 2. other stores in Guelph and elsewhere allow people to use reusable containers and 3. one of my suite-mates last year got raisins at Bulk Barn and found a peanut in the bag, so their policy is utterly useless in preventing cross contamination.
  • Orzo – my grandma actually gave me this bag of orzo, and I don’t turn down free food because I’m a student. Ideally I would buy pasta or rice in bulk.
  • Cooking oil – As far as I know, there isn’t a store in Guelph that sells bulk oils other than Bulk Barn, which as I’ve said has a lame no reusable container policy.
  • Red wine vinegar – I’ve never seen this in bulk here either. I actually only have it because my grandma gave it to me. I likely wouldn’t buy it of my own accord because it’s expensive. It adds a delicious flavour to soups like this though.
  • Salt – I got this in a paper box, but it turns out that the health food store sells it in bulk so I’m going to get it there from now on.
  • Pepper – this is in a little plastic container, which kind of sucks because I found out later that the health food store sells cheaper pepper in bulk.
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