When your husband decides to become a vegetarian — albeit a fish-eating one — but your teenage boys crave chicken and beef, what’s a wife and mom to do? Over the past few months, I’ve spent a lot of time adapting recipes (see my recent recipe for Loaf Pan Lasagna) and cooking up ways to satisfy Tim’s new appetite for meatless meals and my boys’ big-time hunger for meat. In our cookbook, No Whine with Dinner, we have a recipe for Piping-Hot Peanut Butter Soup that’s made with chicken and rice. My kids love it, so I decided to modify it a bit by swapping the chicken with chickpeas and the rice with farro (I’m currently on a farro kick). This soup is hearty, nutritious, filled with fiber, and best of all, it’s a definite palate pleaser!
Makes 6 Servings
Making the switch from the original chicken called for in the recipe to chickpeas was easy. Just open a can, rinse and drain, and voila, a vegetarian soup! If you don’t have farro on hand, by all means, use the 3/4 cup instant brown rice from the original.
1. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the pepper softens, an additional 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, curry powder, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, celery seed, and pepper. Cover, raise the heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the flavors meld, about 15 minutes.
3. Add the chickpeas, peanut butter, and farro and stir well until the peanut butter melts into the soup. Cover, return to a simmer, and cook until the farro is tender, about 10 minutes. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Top each serving with peanuts as desired.