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It’s not unknown that snow has once again shown its face in our region. Thankfully we don’t have the (what is it now?) 18 inches or more like Alaska. We are blessed with just a few inches, but that is plenty for me. The chill makes me want to give in to the duvet and cuddle up with the furry baby all day long. It’s hard to work with a snoring sprawled out baby though, so guess this wouldn’t be the easiest method of working at home.

Hesitantly I always seem to make it out of bed each cold morning thanks to my “one and only”. My place of refuge is the kitchen during the cold wintry months. Is it sad I plan out my meals of the day according to the temperatures? Lol, I actually bake more to warm the house up since our furnace never seems to keep up with the chilly breezes that seep through our thin townhouse walls. We’ve talked to our property manager but he doesn’t seem to see a problem with our temperature gauge telling us it’s 67F when the furnace is turned up to 74F. So the kitchen supplies my refuge.

Once I found this recipe in LA Times online, I couldn’t resist trying it out. I did veganize the recipe (which wasn’t hard). It was good but it didn’t really have the “kick” I had hoped it would have when looking at the photo. But, I was happy with the outcome and the husband said it was a nice lunch soup that isn’t overpowering and foul-breath making. (Aka, it doesn’t make your colleagues fall-over with the smell of your breath.) Always a plus in my book!

The original recipe can be found here.  Here’s the vegan version:

3 tablespoons water
1 pound onions (1 very large or 2 medium), chopped (about 3½ cups)
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
2/3 cup dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans), sorted and rinsed (about 4 ounces)
2 cups vegetable broth
8 cups water, divided
1/3 cup green lentils, sorted and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 ounces linguine, whole wheat or white, broken in 3-inch pieces (about 1½ cups)
1/3 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup chopped green onions
6oz Swiss Chard, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried mint
Hummus, Optional

1. Heat the water in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until it is soft and deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer about 1/3c to a small bowl; reserve it for garnish.

2. Add the chickpeas, broth and 2c water to the saucepan. Stir well to blend in the onion mixture and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 1½ hours. Add the lentils, turmeric, salt, pepper and 2c water. Return to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the chickpeas and lentils are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the pasta in the soup mixture and cook for another 15 mins.

3. Meanwhile, mix 2 teaspoons each of the dill, cilantro and green onion; reserve as garnish.

4. Mix the remaining dill, cilantro and green onion and divide in two parts. Divide the spinach in two parts.

5. Add chard and herb mixture to soup on simmer. Add one part of the spinach and one part of the herb mixture. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add ½ c of water if it becomes too thick.

6. Garnish with the onion and garlic mixture reserved. for garnish in a very small skillet over medium heat until sizzling. Add the dried mint, stir and remove from the heat.

7. Ladle the soup into a tureen or into bowls. Garnish each serving with a spoonful of hummus and with the onion-garlic mixture and the reserved herbs and green onion. Serve hot.

Note:  For some reason I can’t find the original photo with just the soup.  Maybe I was just too hungry that I forgot to take a photo.  This recipe is featured at the top.  It is a little less liquid since it was microwaved as a leftover in this photo.  Oops!

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