Whole Wheat Orzo with Kale, Chickpeas and Tomato Cream Soup
The vegetables don't need to be chopped finely or perfectly, most will go in the blender anyway. Feel free to pass this along
Optional: My family enjoys this meal with sausage instead of the chickpeas. I just prepare the sausage in the toaster oven to bake while I make the soup and orzo. You could also opt to use any leftover over protein you may have in the refrigerator like tofu, beef, or chicken. I serve all the ingredients separately and let everyone make their own bowls with as much or as little as they would like.
- 16oz package of whole wheat orzo (I use Delallo Organic but feel free to use any other small shaped whole wheat pasta)
- 4 tbsp of Earth Balance Butter (however feel free to use regular butter or other butter substitute, ah, heck olive oil will do)
- 2 Celery Stalks, scrubbed and roughly chopped
- 1 small onion or 1/2 of a large onion roughly chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 2-4 tbsp dried basil or 1/2 cup fresh basil (depends on how much basil you like, I go all in)
- 2 cups of vegetable broth (chicken broth will do)
- 2 cans of whole or crushed tomatoes (28 oz each can)
- 8 oz of vegan cream cheese (feel free to use regular cream cheese)
- 1-2 cans of chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 bunch of kale, rinsed and roughly chopped
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cook the whole wheat orzo according to package directions while you make the tomato cream.
- Melt the Earth Balance Butter over medium heat.
- Add the celery, onions and garlic and saute for approximately 5-6 minutes (add the salt and pepper here).
- Add the basil and broth.
- Once the mixture comes to a boil, add the canned tomatoes and cream cheese.
- Puree the mixture with a food processor or blender (in batches) until smooth. You can also use an immersion blender, however remember it may have a chunkier consistency.
- Return to the stove and reheat on medium setting. Once the soup boils, add the kale and continue to heat until the kale wilts.
- To serve, plate approximately 3/4 cup of the cooked whole wheat orzo, 1/2 cup chickpeas and top with 1-2 cups of the tomato cream (add as much or as little as you would like).