Friday, November 12, 2010

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

At first looking at the ingredients for this recipe, you might be afraid.  I know I was!  What, cinnamon? seriously? Now I love garlic, but 6-8 cloves of garlic seemed like a bit much as well and I don't think I've used that much spice in one dish.   But once you start cooking and the smell of this soup fills your house, you will be thrilled.  I used a bit less chickpeas than the recipe, but it worked out just right!
Taking the lid of the pot, it looked like there was rice in pot, but nope, it was just garlic. 
Once the spinach is added and the chickpeas mashed, it gives the soup a bit of thickness.

Save this soup for a chilly day because it will warm your belly!

Ingredients

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
1 large onion, medium diced (I used a red onion)
6 to 8 cloves garlic, pressed (4 scoops of pre-chopped garlic)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 heaping teaspoon sweet paprika
1 (14.5-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
3 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed well (I used (1) 29 oz can
1 quart vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth (I only had 24 oz)
1 teaspoon sugar (I used a packet of splenda)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (5-ounce) package pre-washed baby spinach (I used 3 big handfuls of spinach)

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until the onions begin to turn translucent; lower heat if browning starts to occur.
Add spices and saute a minute or so.
Add tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, and sugar.
Season with a couple pinches of salt and 10 grinds fresh pepper. Stir well.
Chickpeas should be just covered with liquid. If level is shy, add some water so the chickpeas are just covered.

Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to low and gently simmer for 45 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Use a potato masher to mash up some of the chickpeas right in the pot. Stir in the spinach and let heat through until wilted, just a couple minutes.

Season again, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Serve soup, drizzled lightly with extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.

Stay hungry my friend!

From the Cooking Channel