Mildly Spiced Chickpea and Spinach Stew

I'm really happy with this chickpea stew, not only because of its smoky and spicy flavors, but also because when I pureed the remainder of the stew and served it to some guests the next day, they loved it too.  They actually ate it quite speedily and more readily than anything else on the table. So, this makes me happy, because although I only put the recipes I'm confident about on the site, I can never truly know if they are satisfactory to other people - it is at this point that I will implore you to post a comment if you end up trying a recipe.  It is extremely helpful to know what you think, and I would appreciate it greatly!

In any case, I trust that you will enjoy this, especially if you are a chickpea fan.  They have such a unique nuttiness to them, and no matter how tender they get, they always contain a certain crunch to them that adds great body to any soup or stew.  Although using dried chickpeas is a bit of a hassle, it is absolutely worth it, because you can cook them with herbs and spices which mildly penetrate the peas and give them greater depth of flavor. 

I always suggest preparing more than 1 serving when making soups, because it's such a treat to have a hearty bowl of soup ready in a flash after coming home late from work or wherever the day led you.  I used spinach because it's delicious and has a nice and thick consistency, but I think kale would hold up equally well.  You can use an equal amount of kale instead of spinach.

Lastly, I think this soup would be thrilled served alongside some sour cream, yogurt, or creme fraiche.  Enjoy this stew, this week, and this very moment that finds you reading this website!

Chickpea and Spinach Stew with Mild Spices - makes 2 servings

2 cups dried chickpeas
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp each of ground cumin, coriander, and chili powder
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup chopped fresh spinach

1. Place the chickpeas in a medium bowl and cover with water so that it's covered by about 2 inches. Soak overnight.
2. Drain chickpeas; in a medium-large saucepan or deep skillet, add the chickpeas, enough water to cover by 2 inches, the chopped rosemary, ground cumin, and a dash of pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring a few times to combine, and simmer until chickpeas are tender, about 1- 1 1/4 hours.
3. Once chickpeas are done, heat olive oil in a large skillet (large enough to hold chickpeas and cooking water) over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
4. Add chickpeas with their cooking liquid to the skillet, along with the coriander, chili powder, sun-dried tomatoes, and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.
5. At this point, add the chopped spinach, stir to combine, and cook until spinach is soft, about 15 minutes longer. Season to taste with additional spices or seasonings.


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