im going to be completely honest here: researching recipes when youre gluten free is total lamesauce. typically youre faced with one of two options: you can either search for specifically gluten free recipes and being assaulted with a barrage of kale and quinoa and "skinny" this and "paleo" that until you silently weep because youre pregnant and have a family to feed and you need recipes for actual food. OR you can browse "normal" recipes for inspiration and try your best to figure out if its even un-glutenable before getting tired and just making something that you already know will work (and be safe to eat).
this soup though, happens to be my first full-blown success with the latter option. i had originally found this soup on pinterest and thought it looked/sounded fantastic. quick, healthy, filling, and CHEAP, basically everything i look for in a weeknight dinner, with the added bonus of involving garbanzo beans (also known as chickpeas). alice LOVES garbanzo beans. it can be really difficult to get her excited over a new dinner, but not quite so much if it has her favorite beans prominently featured in it.
the only problem with the original recipe was the orzo. orzo is definitely not gluten free. maybe somebody out there makes gluten free orzo but i wasnt really willing to put in the extra effort (and money) to find out when, you know, rice is pretty similar to orzo. and already gluten free. and 99 cents a pound. what could possibly go wrong here? not much, actually. the first time i made the soup i just followed the recipe verbatim, just substituting the rice for the orzo and while it was ok, it wasnt quite right. the rice soaked up WAY too much broth and i found it a little lacking in the flavor department. so i took a few notes and made a few adjustments and the next week: perfection. i think we have a new favorite soup on our hands.
so are YOU ready to have a new favorite soup? i think so:
chickpea and brown rice soup.
(makes approximately 8 servings)
heres what you need:
3-4 cloves of garlic
salt, pepper, dried rosemary, oregano, thyme, and bay leaf to taste
3-4 ribs celery (i tend to err on the side of more because who doesnt want more veggies?)
1 can of garbanzo beans (or two cups of cooked beans if you make your own)
3/4 cup brown rice
2 quarts vegetable stock + 2 cups of water
1/4 cup lemon juice
heres what you do:
finely chop the onions and garlic and sauté with olive oil on medium-high heat in a large soup pot.
when the onions become translucent, season with salt, pepper, and herbs (i dont really measure i just do what smells nice), and continue to cook until the onions start to brown.
chop the carrots and celery into small pieces and stir them into the onions and garlic, cooking for another minute or two.
add the garbanzo beans, rice, stock, water, and lemon juice and bring soup to a boil.
cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for another 15-20 minutes, until rice is fully cooked (add more water if necessary depending on how much the rice swells). finish off with a little more lemon juice if desired.
and thats it! now you have a perfect quick and easy soup!