African Chickpea and Spinach Soup

I have been subscribing to Vegetarian Times for almost two years now and, sadly, have yet to make a single recipe from any issue.

That is, until tonight. I’ve been saving my soon-to-spoil herbs, stalks, peels and more for a few weeks and decided it was time to make some veggie broth — if for no other reason than the refrigerator at the new house is teeny so it was fighting veggie burgers and ice cube trays for space.

I filled a pot with my two gallon-sized Ziploc bags full of vegetable scraps and let it simmer for about five hours, then let it cool for another hour or so. It made almost 20 cups of broth! Most of it is in plastic bags in the freezer…

Out of three contenders I was deciding between, I realized I had 95 percent of the ingredients for the African Chickpea and Spinach Soup from the March 2007 issue so that’s what won. That and the fact that it sounded goooood.

I just finished making it and — holy cow — did I choose wisely. A brief taste test is all I have experienced, but it’s really good. In a way that’s a little unexpected. One of those recipes that just works, but you can’t figure out what your favorite part is. It almost doesn’t make sense, but that’s OK — it’s delicious nonsense.

Here it is:

2 tsp. olive oil
1 med. onion, chopped (about 1 c.)
1 clove minced garlic — about 1 tsp (I used 2 because I love garlic)
1/4 c. smooth natural peanut butter (I only had Jiff, which seems to have worked fine)
2 c. low sodium vegetable broth (or no sodium, if you make your own)
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (I added a touch more for extra kick)
1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 14 oz. an of diced tomatoes
2 oz. spinach chopped (about 2 c.)

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute 5 minutes, or until soft and golden. Add garlic and cook 2-3 minutes more, or until garlic is lightly browned.

2. Blend peanut butter and 1/2 c. broth in food processor to make smooth paste. (Note: I don’t see how this could be a paste. Maybe with natural peanut butter? It made peanut butter liquid for me, which seems to have turned out fine. Maybe it’s because I just used a whisk instead of putting it in a food processor.) Blend in remaining 1 1/2 c. of broth.

3. Add paprika, coriander and cayenne into onion mixture and saute about 1 minute, until fragrant. Stir in peanut butter mixture, chickpeas and tomatoes.

4. Simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in spinach just before serving. (Although I don’t intend to eat it until tomorrow, I chopped up about 1/2 a bag of spinach and added it. I’m guessing it will hold up just fine until tomorrow).

According to Veg Times, per serving:
257 calories
11 grams protein
13 grams total fat (2 g. saturated fat)
28 grams carbohydrates
581 milligrams sodium
9 grams fiber
9 grams sugar

2 responses to “African Chickpea and Spinach Soup

  1. This was simply to die for

  2. super easy and super yummy!

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