Justin Chapple's Orzo and Chickpeas with Turmeric-Ginger Broth is so easy and only takes 20 minutes.
Orzo and Chickpeas with Turmeric-Ginger Broth
Credit: Victor Protasio

We’re all for an all-day cooking session. Bring on the weekend baking projects; we’ll gladly spend a few hours on sauces and stews. But there are also just as many times where we crave something quick and easy, and still nourishing. And that’s when we turn to recipes like Justin Chapple’s Orzo and Chickpeas with Turmeric-Ginger Broth.

The simple soup maximizes flavor while using only a handful of ingredients: unsweetened coconut milk, fish sauce, and lime juice, plus tea bags. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Pretty much everything you need here can be found in your pantry, but substitutions can easily be made if you’re short—in two steps and just 20 minutes, you’ll have a tasty, comforting meal that’s healthy to boot. Here are some tips for making the dish, compiled from the recipe and our test kitchen.

Use Those Forgotten Tea Bags

If you’re an avid tea drinker and find yourself with an overwhelming haul of tea bags in your cabinet, this is great way to use them. They almost act as a stock cube in this recipe, packed with so much flavor that they help create a really nice base for the broth. Turmeric-ginger is the best choice, but if you have plain ginger tea bags, you can use those too. 

No Orzo? No Problem

If you don’t have any orzo, any other small pasta or cooked rice will work perfectly.

Pick Your Protein

This dish is really adaptable, as you’ll learn the further down you read. Swap in white beans for chickpeas, or any canned beans for that matter; you can also add leftover rotisserie chicken, ground beef, or tofu along with the chickpeas for an extra-hearty meal. Shrimp would be a nice touch, since you can poach it in the broth while it cooks and infuse even more flavor into the soup.

Feel Free to Skip the Fresh Garnishes…

Chapple’s recipe calls for cilantro springs as a garnish, but if you don’t have them, don’t worry—other fresh greens like parsley, scallions, and chives would also be tasty. Or, leave it off entirely if you don’t have any stocked.

…But Don’t Swap in Dried Herbs

While you might think dried herbs can be substituted in for fresh (and they can, in some cases!), you don’t want to use them for a garnish. They taste much better when they’re cooked.

Scale It

This recipe easily scales depending on how much food you need. The serving size as-written is for two, but you can make it in larger batches for a family. Pro tip: make a large amount of broth ahead of time and then use it during the week, adding orzo and chickpeas, or whatever protein you choose.