Hearty Spinach and Chickpea Soup
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms (about 4 cups), stems removed, thinly sliced
6 cups store-bought low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
One (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Two (5-ounce) bags baby spinach leaves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Stir in brown rice and return to a boil; reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or Dutch-oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Add broth and rosemary; bring to a boil. Cover, and remove from heat.
3. Check rice after 30 minutes; if it is not yet tender, cover and continue cooking, up to 10 more minutes. Stir 2 cups cooked rice (reserve remaining rice for another use) and chickpeas into broth; return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking for 5 more minutes to allow flavors to blend.
4. Stir in spinach; cook, uncovered, until just wilted, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with cheese; serve immediately.
This recipe adapted from Body & Soul magazine, February 2006.