Spicy Moroccan Chickpea Soup

Last week Alex made chicken stock from our Sunday Roast leftovers, and since I’m currently down and out with a cold, we decided to spice up our Monday with a delicious Moroccan-inspired soup. We began by dicing three stalks of celery and two large white onions.

Next, using a garlic presser, we added six cloves of garlic- this varies depending on the size of the garlic at hand and personal preference, but anywhere from 3-7 is good.

We then added pepper and a generous amount of olive oil to the mixture, and sauteed all of it on a high heat.

Next we spiced the mixture with cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander, two serrano chilies and a dash of cinnamon.

After the spices were added, the mixture began to boil, and created a beautiful deep reddish orange colour.

While I was tending to the stove, Alex chopped up two zucchinis and cracked open a can of fire roasted tomatoes (from Trader Joe’s- they truly liven up anything!) and two cans of garbanzo beans.

We then added the chickpeas and tomatoes, as well as about 32 ounces of Alex’s homemade (and very frozen) chicken stock. If you are vegan or vegetarian, simply substitute vegetable stock at this step. Alex also grated some lemon peel into the mix at this point.

After about eight minutes the stock has defrosted and mixed in with the other ingredients. I freaked out a bit at this stage because the soup was incredibly watery, but don’t worry- most of it cooks off by the end.

We then left the soup to boil- Alex decided that this was the perfect opportunity to clean up the mess we had created so far, however I decided that I clearly should attend to my mountain of homework instead- procrastination leads to the best excuses!

After about ten minutes the soup began to boil, and water began evaporating.

While the soup was boiling we added a large handful of chopped cilantro, as well as a (ripped) bay leaf. This is also where we threw in the zucchini- any earlier and it will just break apart in the soup.

We then let the soup cook down for about thirty more minutes. At this stage, Alex smushed some of the chickpeas, when they broke down the soup became even thicker.

About three minutes til serving time we added a cup or two of baby spinach. Don’t add it earlier than this, as it will disintegrate in the soup.

Right before serving, Alex dressed up the soup with a drizzle of a delicious yogurt-chili reduction, as well as with some chopped spring onions and cilantro. We topped it off with EVOO, which helped bring everything together. Although the soup takes awhile to cook (about an hour total) it is completely worth it- and freezes well, since it’s vegetarian! This is a delicious, healthy alternative to rich stews and soups we become accustomed to during the winter and fall, and all that cayenne pepper delivers quite the kick! My sinuses have been fended off, at least until my next serving.

-priya

Spicy Moroccan Chickpea Soup