Lunch for My Daughter’s Teachers: Garbanzo Macaroni Soup

My daughter is in her first year at school and everything is new to us.  It is almost time for report cards.  A time of excitement, anxiety, and relief for parents and students and a time of overtime, endless evenings with papers, student’s work, and “benchmarks” of every sort for teachers.  In our school, there is this really sweet tradition of class members signing up during “report card weeks” to bring lunch for the teachers.  It can be store bought, delivered, or home made.  Whatever works to feed the teachers and free up a little of their time.

We’re on lunch duty tomorrow and my daughter, as we watched Ina Garten on The Food Network during some mommy down time, suggested that we make cheddar-dill cornbread.  So on the menu tomorrow for Isabelle teachers that she adores will be:  Cheddar-chive cornbread (I forgot to get dill), garbanzo bean soup, couscous salad with spinach, parsley and spring onions, and honey banana tea bread with chocolate chips.

The soup recipe is so simple and delicious that I would like to share it here.  I think it can also be very family friendly.  Just be cautious with how much chili pepper you add and which chili pepper variety.

This is Anna Thomas’ recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure

Garbanzo Bean Soup

2 cups dried garbanzo beans (aka chick peas)
(If you are planning to do this spur of the moment just use 3 cans of garbanzo beans from the pantry and skip part I of the recipe.)

1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
3 Tbs. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, pressed in a garlic press
3 Tbs. chopped onion (about 1/2 a small onion)
2 Tbs. diced green chili (we used 1/2 a jalapeno
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
3-4 Tbs. of tomato paste
fresh ground black pepper
1 cup shell macaroni


If you are using dried garbanzo beans:  soak the beans overnight, in enough water to keep them covered.  The next day, add some salt and the rosemary, as well as more water if it’s needed, and simmer for 2-3 hours, until the beans are tender.

If you are using canned beans:  drain 3 cans over a bowl because you want to keep some of the liquid.  I usually like to rinse the beans as well.  Then put the beans back into the liquid and add enough water to cover the beans. (So rinsing the beans may make no sense, but sometimes in the kitchen you do what your mother did just because that’s the way it’s done with reason or without reason.)

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and add to it the crushed garlic and chopped onion.  When the onion is transparent, stir in the diced green chili, the Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste.  Add this sauce to the beans and their liquid, and season with plenty of fresh-ground black pepper and some more salt if it’s needed.

Add a little more water–just enough to make room for the macaroni.  When it is simmering, pour in the macaroni and continue cooking until it is tender, another 20 minutes or so.  Serve steaming hot with French bread. (or pack it up in a melamine bowl with some place settings, some corn bread (replace the jalapeno with chives), and some banana chocolate chip bread, and then bring it to school.)

Bon appetit.  ttyl your BFF (Boston Family Foodie)

For more info: Anna ThomasThe Vegetarian Epicure,Clear Flour Bakery (my favourite baguette)

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