Sunday, October 20, 2013

Vegetarian for All: Chickpea Pesto Soup

I made up this soup for a work potluck event.  I wanted it to be vegetarian so anyone could eat it. I don't really have any photos other than the onion and garlic sauteing, but picture a red soup with chickpeas and some green pesto on top. 

If you leave out the pesto or make it without cheese, this can be vegan.


  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can tomato puree
  • 8 oz water
  • 2 15oz cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2-3 stalks celery
  • heavy shake of your favorite herbal blend (I use Penzey's Mural of Flavor)
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1/4 cup pesto (I used my own that I froze)

Saute the onion over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.  Add all of the rest of the ingredients through the salt and pepper and cook on low for 6-8 hours.  When you're ready to serve, add the pesto on top.


Simple but hearty.

This was so thick that I would call it more of a stew.  I liked the flavor, cooking in the slow cooker is so nice for developing rich, complex flavors.  

Maybe next time I'd add barley, not because it was missing but mainly because I have some that I want to use up.  To do that, cook the barley separately so it doesn't absorb all of the liquid of the soup and add it in towards the end.  You could cook the barley in chicken stock or with a bouillon cube to add flavor.

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!