Our previous posts on sustainable eating in the Middle East/North Africa region featured rice and chicken kabsa from Saudi Arabia, Jordan’s traditional mansaf, and wheat berry pudding from Iran. All very delicious – but what about North Africa?
Regional, seasonal, fresh and harvested under fair conditions. That’s sustainable eating. And Moroccans do it well, adapting the taste for spices and chili heat to their huge variety of native grains and vegetables. Local chickpeas appear in many Moroccan stews and soups This soul-satisfying soup indulges chickpea love with a winter vegetable, spinach. Inexpensive, health-building and delicious.
Moroccan Chickpea and Spinach Soup
Serves 6 generously
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste
2 cups diced fresh or crushed canned tomatoes
4 cups canned chickpeas,drained
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 cups fresh spinach, rinsed, drained, and chopped
Choose a large pot. Heat the olive oil in it and add onion, garlic, cinnamon, paprika, cumin and cayenne.
Cook, stirring occasionally 5 minutes or until the onions wilt.
Add tomatoes, chickpeas, vegetable broth and sugar.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let the soup simmer for 45 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, place equal quantities of spinach into 6 soup bowls. Ladle hot soup on top of the spinach.
Serve right away.
More delicious Middle Eastern soups with ingredients in season:
Image of chickpea soup via Shutterstock.