Spinach, Pasta, and Chickpea Soup

I was so excited when my new issue of Cooking Light turned up in my mailbox on Friday afternoon.  I should take a picture to show you what I’ve done to it already – I’ve got the whole thing fringed in lime green Post-It notes, marking all the awesome looking recipes I can’t wait to try.

Here’s the first one I made.  After a super fun weekend of livin’ it up (read: imbibing / ingesting too much), I just wanted to have a good, healthy soup in the fridge so that lunch time around here is a no-brainer.  I stocked the fruit bowl with a huge pile of (sale!) pears and apples, and I just made a pitcher of iced green tea, and with that my Monday morning detox is well underway!

Have a great week.  :-)

Makes 4 – 1 3/4 cup servings
Source:  Cooking Light Magazine, October 2011.  p. 34, recipe by Sandy Gluck.

1 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 thinly sliced scallions
4 c. fat free chicken broth
2 c. water
3/4 c. uncooked orzo
1 T. grated lemon rind **
1 – 15 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 T. fresh lemon juice **
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t. kosher salt
1 – 6 oz. package fresh baby spinach (I used the sale Earthbound Farms Organic Baby Spinach)
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese (I used a wedge of the sale Belgioioso Parmesan)

Heat a large saucepan over high heat.  Swirl in the olive oil; add garlic and onions, saute 30 seconds stirring constantly.  Add chicken broth and 2 cups water, bring to a boil.  Add orzo, lemon rind, and chickpeas.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until orzo is done.  Stir in oregano, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and spinach.  Ladle 1 3/4 cups soup into each of 4 bowls and top with about 4 teaspoons of cheese.

CALORIES: 290; FAT: 6.7g; PROTEIN: 14g.; CARB: 43.8; FIBER: 7.2g.

** NOTE:  Like a total ding-a-ling, I forgot to buy a lemon – so my soup was missing both the rind and the fresh lemon juice.  I didn’t think the taste of the soup suffered from these omissions, but I do think the lemon would add a nice, bright punch.  :-)

Featured, Fresh, Frugal, Fabulous | September 19th, 2011