After a busy summer, I’m looking forward to autumn – and yes, even winter. Bring it on, cold and blustery weather! I’m ready for rainy days where I have the perfect excuse to stay home with a good book. I want to have nothing more pressing to do than search for seemingly identical pieces to complete a puzzle in front of the fireplace, while snow falls and drifts up to the windows.
And eat soup. Bowls of steaming, hearty soup loaded with vegetables and beans, topped with cheese, and finished with a drizzle of oil. In fall and winter, I like soups that are more stew-like. The kind that’s a meal. This kind you eat, not drink.
My husband, Carnivorous Maximus, will tell you this soup is great with chunks of beef in it.
Make it Vegan!
It’s super easy to make this a satisfying vegan dish by eliminating the Parmesan cheese. Substitute one tablespoon (or more, to taste) nutritional yeast.
- 1 poblano pepper
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ small yellow onion, coarsely diced
- 3 scallions, green and white parts thinly sliced
- 2 cups coarsely chopped cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 1-inch hunks Parmesan rind
- 1 cup stewed tomatoes
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto
- 2 cups thinly sliced Swiss chard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, and place the pepper on it. Slide under the broiler, and broil until the skins are lightly charred, and peppers soft. Turn as needed to char all surfaces. Place in a container for 10 minutes, peel, seed, and coarsely chop.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottom pot - I use my Creuset. Add the onion and scallions until softened and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the cauliflower, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Sauté for another 10 minutes.
- Pour in the vegetable broth, Parmesan rind, and stewed tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes to concentrate the flavors.
- Add the chickpeas, roasted peppers, oregano, and pesto, and continue to simmer until the chickpeas are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Swiss chard and simmer until completely wilted. Stir in the balsamic vinegar.
- Serve piping hot with Parmesan cheese and additional pesto.
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