I've always wanted to surf in Morocco. When storms generate swells in the North Atlantic, they eventually arrive on wide open beaches in Africa. Man, I could strap my sled to a camel, cruise down to the beach and slash. Afterward I could gorge myself on delicious Moroccan cuisine.
I doubt that trip will ever come to pass, but at least I can bring some Morocco to my home. It's vegetarian and is especially filling if served with, say, crostini topped with goat cheese. The aromas from this soup are amazing. Your kitchen will smell insane!
Moroccan Spiced Garbanzo Bean Soup
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, medium dice
6-8 garlic cloves, pressed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 (14.5 oz.) can chopped tomatoes
2 (15 oz.) cans garbanzo beans drained and rinsed well
1 quart vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sugar
freshly ground black pepper
1 yukon gold potato, diced
5 oz. spinach, washed, stemmed and julienned
1. heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
2. Add onion and garlic and saute until onions are softened. Add spices and saute for a few more minutes to release their flavors. If there is any browning or burning, add a bit of water.
3. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, broth and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to low and cook, partially covered, for 40 minutes.
5. Add potato and continue simmering soup for 20 more minutes.
6. Remove from heat. Ladle soup into bowl and add spinach. Let stand for a few minutes until spinach wilts.
7. Salt and pepper to taste and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
This soup is easy peasy to make and like I said, is surprisingly filling, especially if you serve bread and cheese. If you prep the potatoes ahead of time, make sure you reserve them in water with a bit of lemon juice so that they do not turn. For added flavor, you can add a few tablespoons of smoked red onions. Finally, you can skim the red foam from the top of the soup for a cleaner presentation.