If you’ve never tried mustard greens, it’s time to discover their pleasantly peppery taste that blends perfectly in this hearty and heart-healthy stew. I love soups and stews based on various legumes, as they pack a powerful nutritional punch and are so inexpensive and satisfying. Of course I drizzled my serving with chili crisp, my latest hothead food obsession.


2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 medium carrots, sliced

1 fennel bulb, chopped

1 sweet white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

1 ½ cups vegetable broth

½ cup whole wheat orzo

5 ounces mustard greens, coarsely chopped

16-ounce can garbanzos (chickpeas), liquid included

1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or quartered Campari tomatoes

Grated nondairy parmesan for garnish


1. In a soup pot, warm the oil and add the carrots, fennel, onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Salt lightly. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add the broth, plus the liquid from the can of beans. Bring to a boil and add the orzo and mustard greens.

3. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and cook until the orzo is tender (according to package directions), perhaps about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

4. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes and heat through, trying not to break up the tomato chunks. Taste for salt and pepper.

5. Garnish with nondairy grated parmesan.

Nondairy Grated Parmesan

2 cups almond flour

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp. mellow white miso paste

1 ½ tsp. lactic acid powder (order online)

1 ½ tsp. salt

1 tsp. onion powder

½ tsp. garlic powder

Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. This makes a huge batch, so you can refrigerate some in a pretty jar that looks nice on your table and store the rest in the freezer almost indefinitely.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at wendyandrayzer@yahoo.com.