From Beautiful Bride to Wonderful Wife

My husband referred to his “awesome wife” while having lunch with a co-worker last week who then asked, “Dave, how long have you been married?”  He replied, “Almost 7 years, but we’ve been together for 12.”  “And you still think your wife is awesome?” his co-worker  asked.  I imagine this is where Dave said, “She gets more awesome every day,” but I am pretty sure he just said, “Yes.”

In truth my awesomeness tends to go hand in hand with my cooking.  I get most of my wonderful wife praise over a plate of food thus proving that the way to a man’s heart truly is through his stomach.   Since my clients transition from beautiful brides to wonderful wives I thought I’d share some of my fool-proof recipes so that you, too can achieve awesome wife status.  Turkey meatloaf, soups and chocolate cake tend to elicit the most enthusiastic responses from my husband and the soup recipe below has been one of his favorites this winter.  It is from the cookbook Veganomicon, but I have adapted and modified it many different ways to suit whatever ingredients I have on hand and it’s been a success each time.

Chickpea-Noodle Soup

You’ll need the following ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 large yellow onion sliced thinly, 1-2 carrots (about 1 cup), 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (I’ve done it with and without mushrooms), 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds (I’ve used 1/2 cup chopped celery or shredded celery root instead), 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (oregano works here, too), 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 2 Tablespoons mirin (optional), 1/3 cup miso, 6 cups water or veggie stock, 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed, 6 ounces soba noodles (or just about any other noodle you like, try fusilli or whole wheat spaghetti)  Tip from Veganomicon:  The circumference of one 3-ounce bundle of soba noodles is about the size of a quarter.

Preparation tip:  Chop all of the ingredients and rinse the chickpeas before preheating the pan.

Preheat a soup pot over medium heat, add the olive oil and sauté the onions and carrots for about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and mushrooms and herbs (and celery if you use it) , sauté for another few minutes being careful not to brown/burn the garlic.  Deglaze the pot with the mirin or use a splash of water.  Add 6 cups of water or stock and add the chickpeas.  Cover and bring to a boil.  When the broth is broiling, break the soba noodles into thirds and throw them in.  Lower the heat to medium to maintain a low boil.  Cover and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  You can let it cook a little longer if you’d like.  Add the miso–you want to be sure not to boil the miso, so I try to allow the soup to stop bubbling before I add it.  You can add more miso to adjust the salt flavor.  If you use a barley miso instead of a rice miso you might start with 1/4 cup and add more after tasting.

This soup is hearty and really easy to make in less than an hour.  It tastes equally delicious whether you use water or veggie stock so if you don’t have a stock you will still get a great soup!  Whether you use soba noodles or any other whole wheat pasta it’s eats like a meal and you can add some chopped greens at the end of the cooking process if you’d like to add a little color. 

I hope you enjoy it.  And if you want to share any of your wonderful wife tips I’d love to hear them!

Chickpea-Noodle soup with whole wheat pasta

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