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Chickpea Chorba

Chorba is a type of soup found in national cuisines across the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East. The beets in this recipe add a beautiful reddish-purple color to the soup as well as powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. Low in fat, high in fiber, and an abundance of flavor in every bite, this soup is sure to keep you warm on even the coldest winter days. It may also be served without blending, either over rice or as-is with a hearty whole-grain bread for a complete meal.

Makes 12 servings


6-8 cups vegetable broth, divided 
1 cup dry barley 
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 
3/4 cup fresh or frozen corn 
1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes 
4 carrots, chopped 
2 beets, peeled and chopped 
1/2 cup chopped fresh sugar snap peas 
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen green beans 
2-4 garlic cloves, chopped 
1 celery stalk, chopped 
1 large onion, chopped 
1 cup roughly chopped beet greens (loosely packed)


Heat 2 to 4 tablespoons broth over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

Add green beans, sugar snap peas, beets, carrots, tomatoes, and corn to the pot. Add chickpeas, barley, and enough broth to cover vegetables by 2 to 3 inches. Simmer over low to medium-low heat stirring occasionally for 45 to 50 minutes, adding more broth as needed to keep vegetables covered.

During the last few minutes of cooking, add beet greens. Cook until tender, around 5 minutes. 

Remove 2 to 3 cups of soup, add to blender, and process until smooth. Return to soup pot and stir. Alternately, if you have an immersion blender you may instead use this for 10 to 15 seconds, pulsing to blend about 1/3 of the soup. Serve in a bowl over rice.

Note: Feel free to add your favorite vegetable or adjust the amounts to your taste.

Per serving (1/12 of recipe): 159 calories; 1.2 g fat; 0.2 g saturated fat; 6.2% calories from fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 5.7 g protein; 33.6 g carbohydrates; 5.8 g sugar; 7 g fiber; 613 mg sodium; 60 mg calcium; 2.2 mg iron; 11.3 mg vitamin C; 1,896 mcg beta-carotene; 0.8 mg vitamin E

Source: Kendra Cogsdill

Please feel free to tailor PCRM recipes to suit your individual dietary needs.

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