To some this soup might sound, or look a bit underwhelming, but in all honesty it is a hearty soup packed full of flavour. It’s a bit deceiving, because it looks like your typical creamy soup, but in fact it’s a very unusual soup. First you start by toasting and grinding cumin and coriander, which is incredibly aromatic. The other unusual thing is how it’s thickened. You use cornflour and tahini paste. Weird, right? The result though is this deeply satisfying, nutty, fragrant soup.
There are a couple other kind of unusual things I do in this recipe. Usually you want to dice everything into uniform pieces, so they cook evenly, but instead you want to cut the potatoes into uneven pieces. The reason being, some of the potato chunks will dissolve and melt into the soup to help thicken it and some will stay and be chunky.
Garlicky Chick-pea and Spinach Soup – Serves 4, 1 hour
- 7 minced garlic cloves
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 large baker potatoes, pealed and diced, some a bit bigger, some smaller
- 1 bag of spinach
- 2 cans chick-peas
- 1 can coconut milk, full fat
- 2 Tablespoons cornflour (I used a medium grind), not cornmeal
- 3 Tablespoons tahini
- 2 Tabelspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken
- 1 tablespoon cumin and coriander seeds
- 1-2 teaspoons cayenne
- salt & pepper
Toast cumin and coriander in a small saucepan over medium heat, shaking or stirring it constantly. Once you start to smell the spices, remove from heat immediately and pour them into a mortar to grind. Do not let them sit in the pan or they will burn. If you do burn them start over, they will taste bitter. Grind up spices and set aside.
Place a large pot over medium heat add oil, onions and garlic. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and ground spices, stir for a few minutes. Add coconut milk, cayenne and water until covered. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn down to medium low. Simmer until the potatoes become tender, about 15-20 minutes. Rinse chick-peas and add them to the pot, top off with more water. Make a smooth paste with the cornflour and tahini, stir it into the soup and cook for an additional 10 minutes. You want the potatoes to break down a bit, so they help thicken the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Remove form heat and stir in spinach. Let stand 5 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted and serve.