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Spinach, Pasta, and Chickpea Soup

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Spinach Pasta & Chickpea Soup

I was so excited when my new issue of Cooking Light turned up in my mailbox on Friday afternoon.  I should take a picture to show you what I’ve done to it already – I’ve got the whole thing fringed in lime green Post-It notes, marking all the awesome looking recipes I can’t wait to try.

Here’s the first one I made.  After a super fun weekend of livin’ it up (read: imbibing / ingesting too much), I just wanted to have a good, healthy soup in the fridge so that lunch time around here is a no-brainer.  I stocked the fruit bowl with a huge pile of (sale!) pears and apples, and I just made a pitcher of iced green tea, and with that my Monday morning detox is well underway!

Have a great week.  :-)

SPINACH, PASTA, AND CHICKPEA SOUP
Makes 4 – 1 3/4 cup servings
Source:  Cooking Light Magazine, October 2011.  p. 34, recipe by Sandy Gluck.

1 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 thinly sliced scallions
4 c. fat free chicken broth
2 c. water
3/4 c. uncooked orzo
1 T. grated lemon rind **
1 – 15 oz. can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 T. fresh lemon juice **
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 t. kosher salt
1 – 6 oz. package fresh baby spinach (I used the sale Earthbound Farms Organic Baby Spinach)
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese (I used a wedge of the sale Belgioioso Parmesan)

Heat a large saucepan over high heat.  Swirl in the olive oil; add garlic and onions, saute 30 seconds stirring constantly.  Add chicken broth and 2 cups water, bring to a boil.  Add orzo, lemon rind, and chickpeas.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until orzo is done.  Stir in oregano, lemon juice, pepper, salt, and spinach.  Ladle 1 3/4 cups soup into each of 4 bowls and top with about 4 teaspoons of cheese.

CALORIES: 290; FAT: 6.7g; PROTEIN: 14g.; CARB: 43.8; FIBER: 7.2g.

** NOTE:  Like a total ding-a-ling, I forgot to buy a lemon – so my soup was missing both the rind and the fresh lemon juice.  I didn’t think the taste of the soup suffered from these omissions, but I do think the lemon would add a nice, bright punch.  :-)

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Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

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