For my second blog celebrating the "International Year of the Pulse" it seemed fitting to pull out a recipe that would go well with the "monsoon-like" weather we have been having on the "wet coast". The wind and rain have been incredible for the last few days; with more in the forecast there still time to enjoy this hearty soup featuring chickpeas and our Arabian Baharat. Cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves lend warm, aromatic notes to the soup and a lovely spiciness comes from the black pepper. (For a different flavour profile try using our Ras el Hanout.)
And turn it into this....
Chickpeas might be one of the more approachable members of the pulse family. They are widely used in Middle Eastern dishes like hummus and falafel, and are a great protein addition to soups and stews. I cut to the chase and use canned chickpeas in this recipe, but by all means use dried ones if you prefer (just soak them for 10-12 hours, and change the water a couple times along the way). I have modified our original recipe a bit using more chickpeas and canned tomatoes instead of tomato paste and left the soup chunky instead of puréeing. While the chickpea skins aren't a big problem in this recipe, if you are making hummus it is best to remove the outer skin before blending the chickpeas, you will get a smoother consistency hummus.
Arabian Chickpea Spinach Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6-8 tsp Arabian Baharat
1-28 oz can diced tomatoes or 2-3 tbsp tomato paste
150g dried apricots (about 30), chopped
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
Juice of 1 small lemon
1-28 oz can chickpeas
4-6 cups vegetable stock
1 large bunch spinach (200g), stemmed and shredded
Salt to taste (1 tsp+)
Garnish of choice: mint or cilantro
Heat oil and cook onions gently at low heat in a covered soup pot until translucent but not browned. Add garlic and Arabian Baharat and continue cooking stirring constantly for a minute. Stir in tomatoes or tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes more.
Add apricots, lemon zest, lemon juice, chickpeas and stock. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until cooked (a bit longer perhaps if you soaked your own chickpeas). Add salt to taste and the chopped spinach, stir in and cook until it wilts (approximately 5 minutes).
Garnish each bowl with chopped mint leaves or cilantro.
Visit our Recipe Page for more inspiring ways to use Arabian Baharat.
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