Lemon Parmesan Chickpea Orzo Soup
how I'm searching for self-growth while I'm in a "good place"
Hi! Welcome to “good mood food” from Kale Me Maybe’s Carina Wolff. If you’ve made it here and aren’t yet a subscriber, come join! You can expect recipes in your inbox every Tuesday!
REMINDER: PAID TIER IS CURRENTLY ON HIATUS UNTIL JANUARY 2023!
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Thank you for understanding, and I look forward to coming back next year better than ever!
One of my favorite things about this newsletter is that I’m able to write freely and share my thoughts and feelings with everyone. So often, I find myself writing about where I’m at in life or analyzing what it’s like to live online, and it always feels good to have some sort of life lesson at the end that I can pass on through my words, as trivial as it may be. The past few weeks I’ve really been struggling with what to write about, mainly because I feel content and I don’t feel like I’m in a season of “life lessons.”
I’ve sort of touched on this before, but I’ve found with every tough period in my life, I’ve supplemented it with a lot of self-growth. During particularly anxiety-inducing months or periods where I was feeling lost and directionless, I’ve always found myself reading more, meditating more, and exploring my mind more in hopes of crawling out of an unappealing place, and I always come out of those time periods feeling rejuvenated or matured as a person. But when I’m happy and everything is flowing, I do less of those things, and I find a gap in my satisfaction because there is nothing I love more than learning and growing, as cliché as it sounds.
There was a period of time in 2017 when I first discovered podcasts, and I was knee-deep in episodes about consciousness, AI, effective altruism, meditation, free will, cultural phenomena, genetics, you name it. I felt so in touch with the world, and I learned a lot about myself at the same time. It was an exciting time period, and I think a big leap in my understanding of humanity. I miss that sensation, and I’ve been searching to find something similar. These days, I’m not reading as much, and most of the podcasts I’ve been listening to have been about pop culture, more background noise while I cook or do other things rather than something I focus on intently.
I’ve kept a journal since I was 14, and I always found myself writing in it most during difficult times. That’s natural, of course, because for me, journaling is a coping mechanism, and it has gotten me through a lot of hard emotions. Whenever my mood picked up again, I would stop journaling, but I always felt as if I should keep at it even during the good times because it’s still a way to be introspective. I feel the same about reading about philosophy or sociology or even physics. I want to always be kept on my toes, but when I’m busy living a happy life, that drive isn’t as strong for some reason.
I think one of my goals for the next year is to try to incorporate more learning and self-actualizing even when I’m in the midst of fun times. Maybe it’s a bit of an ego thing, but I do feel like that side of me feels like a large part of my identity. It’s what I love talking about with people and where I find myself the most interesting. I think it’s an amazing and fortunate thing to be able to say “I’m in a really good place right now,” but the truth is, things can change quickly, and I think it’s important to already be participating in the activities that I know will help me feel better rather than wait until I desperately need them again.
THINGS I’M LOVING!
I’m on a sweater kick if you cannot tell. I bought 2 of these Flurry Crew Sweaters from Aerie and I am ~obsessed~ (as you may have seen on Insta). First of all, they are so, so soft and cozy, but I also think they’re pretty chic? I bought the green and the striped, and I dressed up the green with some jeans and booties and some gold jewelry, and I felt both comfortable and cute.
Right now, my current TV obsessions are very opposite: Love is Blind and the Jeopardy Tournament of champions. I’m multifaceted, okay?! I am absolutely at the edge of my seat waiting for tonight’s episode with Matt Amodio (my luv), Mattea Roach, and Amy Schneider, and I am equally as impatient for the remaining Love is Blind episodes to come out so I can see which toxic couples make the right choice to bail at the altar. I am stupidly hooked on Love is Blind even though it’s honestly so terrible, especially the men this season, BARF.
I almost never wear fake eyelashes, but when I got married in May, I ordered a few different kinds to test out for my wedding. I recently used the extras I had sitting in my cabinet for another wedding and for Halloween, and now that I’ve realized how easy they are to use, I’m all about them for special events. I have two more weddings to attend this month, and you betcha these will be hanging off of my eyelids. I like these Ardel Demi Wispie Fake Eyelashes because they enhance your eyelashes but don’t look overly dramatic. I use this glue to put them on!
This may sound kind of strange, so please don’t judge me, but I have never really been a soup person. Like I said, strange, I know, but it’s just not something I really crave? I think it doesn’t feel emotionally satisfying to me, like I want something hearty I can really dig my fork into and chew on. Not quite sure, looking deeper into how I feel about that.
However, I know most people love soup, so I’ve been on a mission this season to challenge myself to make soups that I will enjoy in order to share some good recipes! Plus, I do agree there is something very soothing about a hot bowl of soup on a cold day.
To make this soup, I included ingredients I felt would help fill me up, like hearty chickpeas and starchy orzo. I don’t like when soups are too overly brothy — I prefer a more stew-like vibe.
I used chicken bone broth in this recipe, but you can always use regular chicken broth or even veggie broth to make it more plant-based! I like to start off slow with the salt, and add more as needed. Everyone’s broth may have different levels of saltiness, so taste and adjust based on what you’re using.
Lemon Parmesan Chickpea Orzo Soup
Ingredients (serves 2-3)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 (or 1/2 large) small yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
Small sprig of rosemary
32 oz chicken bone broth (or chicken broth)
1 (14.5) oz can chickpeas, drained
2/3 cups orzo
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 bunch kale (about 2 cups roughly chopped)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Juice of 2 lemons
1. Heat olive oil in a pot or Dutch oven. on medium heat. Add onions and carrots, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 7-8 minutes to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and rosemary, and cook for another minute.
2. Add your broth, and bring to a boil. Add in your chickpeas, orzo, tomatoes, and kale, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 10-12 minutes or until orzo is tender.
3. Add in the Parmesan and lemon juice, and mix thoroughly until Parmesan has melted evenly into the soup. Taste, and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve, and top with more Parmesan and black pepper, if desired.