Monday, December 8, 2008

Day 17 - Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

I woke up with a dry mouth and sore throat this morning, and just as I suspected I was getting a cold. This chickpea soup was the perfect soup (next to a home made chicken noodle soup) for my olfactory deprivation, because I could still smell and taste the cinnamon and other spices through my stuffed nose.

While walking my dog today, I was thinking about what other soups I was going to make over the next 13 days. Not that I was running out of recipes per se, but it was that I wanted to make a wide variety of soups. Sure, I could take the easy way out and make every variation of cream soup there is such as; Cream of Asparagus, Cream of Broccoli, Cream of Carrot, Cream of Fennel, Cream of garlic, Cream of Jalapeno,etc, in fact, I could probably do 30 days of cream soup alone.

I like my cream soups, but I don't want to eat the equivalent of a stick or two of butter, which equals oodles of calories (put another way, a nice 8 mile run to burn it off) nor do I want baby food consistency every night for supper.

I try to balance out the soups, one night chunky, one night smooth, so there is a little variation. If I ever get Chef's Block (i.e. can't think of a recipe) I can type soup in my Google browser and find thousands of web pages. So finding recipes or inspiration should not be a problem. My mind is already racing with the next challenge I will do when these 30 days are up. I was quickly shot down on the 30 days of cookies suggestion. Truly, that was for everyone's benefit, including mine and my husbands waistline, and everyone else I would try to pawn them off to.

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup
Soure: Dave Lieberman, the Food Network

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

* Chef's note, I halved the recipe but kept the spices at the same level.

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.


  1. This was a great soup. It tasted like a wonderful Indian curry, just much thinner. It goes very well with some home made bread.

  2. I'm making this one tonight. I would do the bread too but i think i need a rosetta stone to decipher the cryptic bread recipe dazz gave me.

  3. That's hilarious.

    I guess that's where Darien and I differ. I can make a lot of food without a recipe, but when it comes to baking, I can't. Darien can whip up pancakes and bread without ever looking at a recipe, and they turn out great. But then he makes pesto, and it turns into a cheesy solid mass.

    I hope you like the soup.

  4. I'll have you know that the cheesy solid mass happened once, out of my love of parmesan.

  5. Yes, it did only happen once. Darien is a wonderful cook :)