Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

I know what you are thinking. Katie – are you insane? It’s 98 degrees outside, and you are telling us about soup?! Well, yes, I am. But before you close your browser, hear me out. This soup is so good. It’s been one of my favorites for years, and I’ve been meaning to tell you about it for ages. And really, while it may be scorching outside, how many of you spend your days in over-air conditioned homes and offices? I know I was wearing long sleeves at two different times yesterday. A bowl of this soup would have been a welcome treat.

Now about the soup. The broth is warm and spicy without being spicy hot. Stan always comments about how good the kitchen smells when the broth is bubbling away. In addition to being fragrant and flavorful, the soup is incredibly filling from its hearty helping of chickpeas. It is also colorful and nutritious thanks to fresh spinach stirred in just before serving. Whatever the season, this is the perfect soup to take the chill off.

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup
Adapted from David Lieberman, via Food Network

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 heaping tsp. sweet paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
3 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cups (1 qt) low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 tsp. sugar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
5 to 10 oz. fresh baby spinach

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion begins to turn translucent. Turn down the heat if the onion begins to brown.

Add the cumin, cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper (about 10 grinds). Stir well to combine.

Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat and use a potato masher to mash up some of the chickpeas in the pot.

Stir in the spinach and heat through until just wilted, a couple of minutes.

Taste the soup and season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve hot.

Serves 6.

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