Soppa tal-armla

This Mediterranean soup will comfort you on even the most challenging of days.

Chickpeas, 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:

“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.”


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh herbs, finely chopped (rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, and/or oregano)
  • 1/2 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 chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups of your favorite dry pasta (shells work nicely)
  • Vegetable broth or water to cover everything
  • 1 bunch of 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, chickpeas, 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!

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

2 responses to “Soppa tal-armla”

  1. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Healing soup for hard days. 🙂

  2. maitricookswithlove Avatar

    Instagram comment from evancarmichael: 😍😍

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