This is another one of those dishes where the recipe mysteriously appeared on my kitchen counter. Actually, I really like it when Matt suggests meal ideas since coming up with a menu every week can be difficult sometimes. He found this recipe on Serious Eats Dinner Tonight & printed it because he just really likes chickpeas.
The original recipe called this a stew but we found it to be much more the consistency of soup. The person who tried the recipe for Serious Eats said they were a little disappointed with the final result because it lacked in flavor. I figured the answer for that would be to use chicken broth instead of water as the cooking liquid. That seemed to make the difference because we found this broth to be really flavorful. We could really taste the saffron. Matt especially liked it & has already said he wants it again. This is a good one to keep on hand for a busy night since it cooks up quickly & in one pot.
Moorish-Style Chickpeas & Spinach Soup
Adapted from Jose Andres Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America
2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 slice bread, crusts removed
1 T sweet paprika
1/2 t cumin
1 T sherry vinegar
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/4 lb spinach, torn
2 c chicken or vegetable broth
salt & pepper
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a soup pit. Add the garlic cloves & cook until they are brown on all sides, stirring from time to time. Remove the garlic cloves. Add the bread to the pot. Toast on each side about 1 minute. Remove the bread. Put the bread & garlic cloves into a mortar & pestle & smash until they form a paste.
Turn the heat off until the pot & allow the oil to cool for a minute or two. Stir in the paprika, saffron & cumin. Then stir in the vinegar. Add the chickpeas, spinach & broth to the pot. Turn heat back on & bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes & then stir in the bread & garlic paste. Let cook for 5 more minutes. Salt & pepper to taste.
When I posted that I was making this in my weekly menu Bill over at Tinkering With Dinner left this comment
"That stew is a variation of the Tunisian breakfast soup, leblebi, which thrives on a wide range of garnishes you might want to consider. I've got a list from when I made something quite similar here. You should at least add poached eggs; the dish is incomplete without them."
We decided to try the soup in it basic form this time before adding garnishes but I have to agree with Bill this soup would have been fantastic with an egg on it & we'll try that next time.