Sunday nights are always warm and cozy in our house. Usually we stay in (because I have dance class all day and come home super tired, and of course – it’s a “school night”) and I cook something we’ve never had before, and we watch The Amazing Race together!
Did I mention we’re, like, totally obsessed with The Amazing Race? We discovered it last season and totally got hooked on the show… not to mention the two coolest contestants of all the Amazing Race seasons – Jet and Cord (the Cowboys) who were so much fun to watch. Anyway – so after last season we rented most of the other seasons and watched them during our trip to Spain and Portugal.. yeah… that was like 10 seasons watched during one trip 😛 … and now we’re watching Season 17! (live of course). Yeah, we’re Amazing Race nerds, what can I say 😛
Anywayy, so tonight – I decided to try this recipe for Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup from Dave Liberman on the Cooking Channel. I was really excited about this recipe because it’s super healthy: chickpeas have tons of fiber and protein, and the tomatoes/spinach give you a healthy dose of veggies, fiber, and antioxidants! And it seemed like it would taste good. But, after an hour of cooking – it ended up being kind of bland. So I had to figure out a way to jazz it up a little… and I found one secret ingredient that totally did the trick! So here is the recipe (my modified version and notes are in purple) And I’ll tell you what my secret ingredient was at the end of this post!
Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup … with a kick!
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish (Ok people, you totally do NOT need this much oil. I used 1 heaping Tbsp and it was more than enough!)
- 1 large onion, medium diced (I used a red onion)
- 6 to 8 cloves garlic, pressed (I used 8 cloves)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I probably ended up using closer to 1/4 tsp)
- 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
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (5-ounce) package pre-washed baby spinach (I actually used a 10 oz bag of organic frozen spinach)
- My Secret Ingredient! (to be used upon serving – and you can click on the link to find it if you can’t wait until the end 🙂 )
- 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. (I actually used a hand blender to make the soup a nice chunky consistency). Stir in the spinach and let heat through until wilted, just a couple minutes.
- Season again, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into bowls. The Secret Part: Add 1 Tbsp of Masala Lentil Dip to the bowl and stir into soup until combined through. The dip gives the soup an amazing flavor and really adds a kick to it! It totally amped up the flavor of what was otherwise a pretty average tasting soup. You can add a drizzle of EVOO on top if desired. I also served the soup with toasted pita chips which tasted great. You can also serve it with Greek Yogurt or a creamy cheese – I think both would taste good. Enjoy!