MEATLESS MONDAY: MOROCCAN CHICKPEA SOUP

January 11, 2016

MEATLESS MONDAY: MOROCCAN CHICKPEA SOUP

back in october, I accompanied my dad to a family wedding in chicago. it was a super quick trip, just enough time for us to stuff our faces with lou malnati's pizza and celebrate the happy couple's wedding. at the wedding, I was talking with my aunt and somehow her moroccan chickpea soup came up. she was telling me all about it and how often she makes it, so of course I asked for the recipe. when she sent it to me a few weeks later, I knew I had to make it. my aunt throws shredded chicken in her version, I omitted the meat - chickpeas are known for their health benefits including protein and fiber content and this broth is really tasty given the mix of sweet (cinnamon) and spicy (ground red pepper). 

stephen's been CPA studying a lot and I've been trying to eat really light dinners, like 100% juice from arden's garden to reset after the holidays. I decided to make this soup for lunch and as I finished it up, I was worried that stephen wasn't going to like it. even though I'm all about the veggies lately, I just thought this soup was a bit out of stephen's comfort zone. luckily, I was wrong! if you're looking for a light dish that's easy to put together and is broth based (lower cal than cream based) - this soup is for you. oh and by the way, you may notice better picture quality in this post... this is my first post using my brand new fancy schmancy christmas present camera from stephen. what a difference!











ingredients:

-1 T. olive 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 c. vegetable broth
-1 t. cinnamon
-1 t. cumin
-1/2 t. paprika or ground red pepper
-1 t. salt
-1/2 t. pepper
-2 packed cups fresh, roughly chopped spinach (you can use 1-3 c. spinach, to your liking)
-drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, optional

instructions:

1. in a soup pot, melt the oil on medium heat. add onions and garlic and saute about 5-7 minutes, until onions are softened and slightly translucent.

2. add the chickpeas, tomatoes, vegetable broth and spices. stir to combine, and simmer on low heat for about 40 minutes.

3. while simmering, wash your fresh spinach and roughly chop it into bite-sized pieces with a knife.

4. when 40 minutes is up, taste a test bite and check the tenderness of the chickpeas. they should be soft, if they're still a little firm, throw the soup on for another 10 minutes to soften them up.

5. 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. you can also throw in another handful of fresh spinach to give it a little more body after reheating.
Written by Lauren from laurensparkle 

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