Zucchini and Chickpea Soup

 

polishzuccsoupJust call me the Psychic Chef. When I’m not working, you know where I am! It’s zucchini season and living in Lancaster County PA among the farmland, my neighbors grow squash the size of paper towel rolls. If you’re not familiar with these plants, they just keep growing and giving. Some neighbors recently said they just have too many, so I told them about my zucchini soup and they asked for the recipe. So I made a big pot to give samples along with the recipe to the whole neighborhood. They are always offering my veggies from their garden, so it was the least I could do. I originally found a few versions of this Polish soup online. I believe I have the most authentic version here, though I did add the onion and rice which only makes if better. I am NOT a fan of vegan veggie soup, but I have to admit this is exceptionally delicious, easy to make, healthy and very inexpensive to feed a family. Soup in the summertime? Absolutely. When could the ingredients be any fresher? Besides, this soup isn’t bad cold either! The following recipe makes about a gallon.

Ingredients:

2T olive oil
1 medium onion
6 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups zucchini, cut into small strips (about 4 medium zucchini)
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) , drained and rinsed (or about 4 cups cooked chickpeas)
1 ½ cup lentils
1 cup rice
½ cup minced fresh parsley, plus more for serving (optional)
thyme to taste
salt and pepper to taste
3 bay leaves
8-10 cups of water

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender Add garlic to onion and sauté 1 minute Add all of the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Stir frequently. Add a bit more water if needed. Adjust the seasoning if needed.

 

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