Sunday, January 23, 2011

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

I guess we eat a lot of soup.  I really appreciate dishes that can be made in under an hour for week night meals.  Although I cook a lot and it is really important to me, we struggle just as much as the next fam to find time during the week to cook AND eat dinner (especially consecutively).  It seems that no matter how hard we try, we always have things scheduled between 6 and 7 pm.  I always cringe when I have to commit to those times because that usually means I have to wait until after it all to cook and eat.  

For this soup, I threw it all the together right when I got home and let it cook pretty much all the way.  Then, I turned off the stove but left the pot on the stove, we left for an hour or so, came back, turned back on the heat, and dinner was ready in about five minutes.  I like that kind of flexibility.  

Plus, this is a simple, but interesting, set of flavors.  Most notably, there is a whole spoonful of cinnamon.  I thought it was very fragrant and pleasant, but couldn't actually taste the cinnamon.  Scot said he could taste it and really liked it.  Leftovers were even better!

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup
by Dave Lieberman via 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
1 (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

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.

(Servings: 4, Prep time: 5 min., Cook time: 50 min., Difficulty: Easy)

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  7/10
Scot (taste):  8/10
Effort:  2/5
Dishwashing Effort:  2/5

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