Soppa tal-armla (plant-based)

5 from 2 votes
This Mediterranean soup will comfort you on even the most challenging of days.
Chick peas, pasta shells, a basket of vegetables and spices, and a pinch of love will do the trick.
If that's not enough, here is some wisdom from the great Pema Chodron:
“We think that if we just meditated enough or jogged enough or ate perfect food, everything would be perfect. But from the point of view of someone who is awake, that’s death. Seeking security or perfection, rejoicing in feeling confirmed and whole, self-contained and comfortable, is some kind of death. It doesn’t have any fresh air. There’s no room for something to come in and interrupt all that. We are killing the moment by controlling our experience. Doing this is setting ourselves up for failure, because sooner or later, we’re going to have an experience we can’t control: our house is going to burn down, someone we love is going to die, we’re going to find out we have cancer, a brick is going to fall out of the sky and hit us on the head, somebody’s going to spill tomato juice all over our white suit, or we’re going to arrive at our favorite restaurant and discover that no one ordered produce and seven hundred people are coming for lunch.
The trick is to keep exploring and not bail out, even when we find out that something is not what we thought. That’s what we’re going to discover again and again and again. Nothing is what we thought.
Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It’s a very tender, nonaggressive, open-ended state of affairs. To stay with that shakiness—to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.
Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword beans, comfort food, gluten-free, onepot, plant-based, soup, veggies


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped (rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, and/or oregano)
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 potatoes, chopped
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cans chick peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups your favorite dry pasta (shells work nicely)
  • Vegetable broth or water to cover everything
  • 1 bunch your favorite greens (kale, collards, chard, etc), chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegan cheese for garnish (optional)


  • In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion, garlic, herbs, and paprika. Stir and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the vegetables, chick peas, tomato paste and enough broth or water to cover everything. Stir well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the pasta and 2 cups more water, along with the greens. Boil again for however many minutes the pasta package says, until it's al dente.
  • Turn off the heat, stir in the peas, taste for salt and pepper, and garnish with vegan cheese if you like. Dig into your bowl of comfort and healing!
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