Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chick Pea and Spinach Soup

   This is a pre-scheduled post because right now I should be preparing for a Harry Potter picnic.  A week early, you ask?  Nope.  ADVANCED SHOWING BITCHES!!!!!!  It's free, so I am going to have to hang out on base (Camp Lejeune) all day so that I can get my ass in a seat.  I'll hit children if I have to.  I know, this is like the coolest movie thing that has happened to me since I was allowed to go the the pre-screening of Hidalgo.  I am pretty sure Louis is very happy all my costumes are in TN, because I would be that weird Marine wife lurking around the base theater with a wand yelling shit at people and then trying to get them to eat my food.

   Alright, this soup is so delicious!  Crazy good in fact.  What is it about chick peas and spinach that are so damn tasty together?  The key to this soup is the pureed can vegetable soup.  I used a Campbell's Healthy Request soup I found, any non-condensed veg soup without pasta or meat will work.  I prefer it to be made with veg broth instead of beef, but that is your choice.  It makes the soup so rich and wonderful without adding a lot of fat or calories, perfect for any time of year.  Oh, my mouth is watering thinking about this soup.
Chick Pea and Spinach Soup
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced (2 Tbsp)
2 medium russet or idaho potatoes, peeled, chopped (3/4 inch cubes)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 14-oz can vegetable soup, pureed
3 C water
1 14-oz can chick peas, drained
8-10 oz frozen, chopped spinach, thawed
1/3 C half and half (optional)
juice 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil

   In a dry pan, add seeds.  Toast over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until just fragrant and sesame seeds are lightly golden.  Crush in a mortar and pestle (or in a plastic bag and rolling pin or heavy skillet.)
   In a large soup pot, heat about 1 Tbsp evoo over medium heat.  Saute onions for for 4-5 minutes until tender.  Add a little more oil and add potatoes.  Stirring constantly, cook another 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic and tomato paste, stir for 1 minute.  Add about 1/2 C water and scrape the bottom of the pan (deglazing).  Add the rest of the water, the pureed soup, bay leaf, sesame seeds, cumin, and coriander.
   Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to med-low heat.  Cook about 13-15 minutes, until potatoes are tender.  Add spinach, chick peas, half and half, and lemon juice.  Add cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook another 8-10 minutes.
   Serves 4-6.

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