Weekly Winner: Great Green Goodness!

IMG_1598Maybe it’s the arctic freeze that has Chicago in its unrelenting grip. Maybe it’s the vast, white blanket of snow and ice covering everything I see outside. Maybe it’s simply the fact that it’s February, but lately I’ve been craving the site of something green. And preferably warm … like a soup! Well, my wishes came true because I have never seen a greener bowl of soup…. ever!! Seriously green. Emerald green. Kermit green. (Don’t worry, no celebrity frogs were harmed in the making of this soup).

I’ve also been on sort of a chickpea kick lately. I honestly never thought much about them, but find that I’ve been cooking them a ton lately — for us and for clients. In salads, in side dishes, of course as hummus. So when I saw this recipe for Creamy Spinach Chickpea Soup, well, it’s like the stars aligned and I knew what had to be done. I had to make this soup. And man, am I glad I did! It is fabulous. Actually, I find it better than it has any real right to be considering the short list of ingredients and super-easy preparation.

The recipe comes from Sunset Magazine. And trust me on this, you may think that making the curry-lime oil to drizzle on is fussy and unnecessary — It’s not!!  It is critical to making this delicious soup complex and special. Don’t cheat yourself out of this and it really only takes a second.

Without further ado — the greenest soup to ever come out of this kitchen. And one of the tastiest too!

Creamy Spinach and Chickpea Soup

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

4 1/2 Tbsp canola oil, divided

3/4 cup diced shallots (2 medium)

1 Tbsp minced garlic

2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger

2 cans (15 oz. each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed

5 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

1 tsp kosher salt

6 cups packed spinach leaves (from about 10 oz. bunch spinach, rinsed well and stems trimmed)

1 1/4 tsp curry powder

1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice

2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves

Preparation:

1. Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a medium pot over medium heat and add shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute more.

2. Add chickpeas, broth, and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until flavors are well blended and chickpeas are very soft, about 25 minutes. Add spinach and cook just until softened and bright green, about 2 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. oil in a small frying pan over medium-low heat. Stir in curry powder and cook until aromatic, 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

4. Whirl half of soup at a time in a blender, starting on low-speed, until very smooth. Ladle into bowls. Just before serving, stir lime juice into curry oil and drizzle over soup. Garnish with mint.

 

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