Wednesday, December 14, 2011

African Spiced Soup: Perfect With a Quilt and a Good Book

Pin It Now! I am a huge soup fan.  Most in my family are not.  So when I am able to make a soup that I can get just about everyone to actually eat, I know it is a keeper.  This recipe was inspired by random searching I did looking for ways to incorporate Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) into more of our diet.  Hummus is a popular item but I wanted to be able to eat them in a different way than just pureed.  The combination of spices are unusual for my family at least, but they work.  Soooo good!

Speaking of pureed - resist the urge to use the stick blender on this soup.  It dramatically changes the flavor and texture in a way that I did not like.  The broth and different textures are an important part of enjoying this soup and turning it into a creamy soup ruins all those good parts.

African Spiced Soup
Any leafy green that cooks well can be substituted for the spinach - kale, mustard greens, cabbage, chard, just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly. The spices used seem questionable if you are not used to seeing these combinations. I highly recommend the first time you make this soup you cook it 'as is' and give it a try before you begin experimenting with it. For a vegetarian version of the soup, substitute vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock, or even water.
  • 3 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 lb fresh spinach leaves, trimmed and chiffonade
  • 1 28 oz can stewed tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 Tbs dijon-style mustard
  • salt and black pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium flame. Add the onion and sauté until tender. Add the garlic and ginger and stir, cooking just long enough to bring out the flavors.Add the sweet potatoes, cumin, curry, honey, mustard, tomatoes, beans and stock. Simmer together until the potatoes are tender, approximately 20 minutes.Add the sliced spinach the last 3 minutes of cooking. Season with salt and pepper to taste.Serve piping hot with a wedge of crusty bread.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings