Moroccan Chickpea Soup
We've gotten a lot of snow here, lately. Last week left us with just under a foot, and last nights storm added a cool 6-8 inches more. I don't mind cleaning off the car, shoveling the walk, or even driving in it...but I hate being cold. I mean really, really cold. For instance, lately I can feel my nose hairs freeze every time I breathe in through my runny nose. And the other morning, on our trip to get a Christmas tree, Alex's beard froze. Yep, froze. Did I mention that the first day of "winter" is December 21st? I think Maine got a jump start this year. And while I do love all the cute winter accessories (hats, gloves, scarves, funky boots), I don't love that they're mandatory. The only good thing about below freezing temperatures is all the warm comfort food. And my favorite comfort food is soup.
I have my beautiful friend Maggie to thank for the recipe inspiration. She made me a similar dish on our last girls date (where we made these adorable 2 Ingredient Christmas Ornaments), and I immediately loved it. For such a simple broth it is incredibly rich in flavor, blending sweet cinnamon with spicy cumin. Packed with protein from the chickpeas and vitamins A & K from the freshly spinach, this soup is a powerhouse of nutrients and good for you ingredients. But the best part? It'll warm you up from the inside out and keep you content all day.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 -15 ounce cans of chickpeas, or about 6 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1-15 ounce can (about 2 cups) of diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 packed cups fresh, roughly chopped spinach
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, optional
In a soup pot, melt the coconut oil on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute about 5-7 minutes, until onions are softened and slightly translucent. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, vegetable broth and spices. Stir to combine, and simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes. While simmering, wash your fresh spinach and roughly chop it into bite-sized pieces with a knife. When 40 minutes is up, taste a test bite and check the tenderness of the chickpeas. They should be soft, with a slight toothiness when bitten. If they're still a little firm, throw the soup on for another 10 minutes to soften them up. Once the soup is ready to be served, add spinach and stir, letting the heat wilt the spinach. Serve immediately with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Serves 6-8.
*Tip: If you throw all the spinach in and don't eat it all, don't fret. The soup can be refrigerated and the spinach will still taste great, it just will have lost its bright green color and be considerably softer. Whenever I re-heat this soup, I throw in another handful of fresh spinach to give it a little more body. Enjoy!