Chickpea Spinach Soup
Sopa de grão com espinafres (chickpea and spinach soup) is one of my favourite Portuguese soups. Full-bodied and satisfying I make it often once the weather turns colder.
When I make this soup I always make a large quantity because it freezes so well. When the weather is cold and you come home after a long day at work, it is nice to just take a portion out of the freezer, nuke it in the microwave for 5 to 6 minutes depending on the quantity, and presto! A wonderfully satisfying bowl of hot soup that will warm your body and soul. Many times, this soup a melted cheese sandwich and some fruit is all I will need for supper.
In this recipe I used potatoes. When I was following Atkins I made this soup without them and actually I prefer it that way. The chickpea flavour is much more pronounced. So, in the recipe below, feel free to leave the potatoes out.
Chickpea and Spinach Soup
1 lb dried chickpeas (about 420 gr.)
2 medium potatoes, quartered (optional)
2 large cloves garlic
2 medium onions, quartered
10 oz. spinach, fresh or frozen
2 cubes chicken buillon (optional)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Soak the dried chickpeas in three times their volume of water for about 8 to 10 hours.
Drain the chickpeas, rinse with fresh water and put them in the soup pot. Add the quartered potatoes, quartered onion, and whole garlic cloves. Add water to cover or, if you prefer, chicken broth. If you use broth, leave out the buillon. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for about 2 hours or until the chickpeas are tender. Remove from the heat.
Remove about 1 1/2 cups of chickpeas and set aside. Now using a hand blender, blend your soup until you have a creamy puré. Add more liquid if necessary. Bring the soup into a boil again and add the spinach and the olive oil. Let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes until the spinach cooks through.
Correct the seasoning, add the reserved chickpeas and serve.