I had spinach and chickpea and did a quick allrecipes.com search to see what can be made with these ingredients (other than salad). I found this fabulous-sounding soup recipe, and it is actually fabulous-tasting too. I ended up modifying it a bit because of different ingredients available.
TO START, the soup base involved:
1 medium onion, diced
5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped
5 small-med potatoes, diced
1 head of broccoli, diced (optional)
2 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp ginger powder
6 cups of chicken/vegetable stock (I used 1.5 cans of chicken broth, made up to 6 or 7 cups of stock)
In a large non-stick pot, I fried the garlic and onion in olive oil with cumin and ginger until the onion was transluscent and tender. Then I added the stock, potatoes, and broccoli and brought that up to a boil.
I let that simmer away for a while, maybe 10-15 minutes, and then added a drained can of organic chickpeas, which I ordered accidentally from Green Earth Organics. I thought they were offering dried chickpeas, but I read the order sheet wrong. But the organic ones were great! Less salty and a bit more flavorful than the usual chickpeas of the canned variety. Anyway, I added the chickpeas and let that bubble away for another 10 minutes, or until the potatoes were quite soft. At this point I chose to blend the mixture in a blender (i wish I had a hand-blender!) which made the soup more consistently thick.
NEXT, to make a creamy soup, I mixed together:
1 cup of cream
1 tbsp natural unsweetened peanut butter
2 tsp corn starch
After it was thoroughly blended, I stirred this into the soup. A few modifications:
1) I used P.B. because I didn’t have any tahini (almond butter). I was cautious, so I only added 1 tbsp. It was great, so next time I would go for 2 tablespoons.
2) I definitely DID NOT NEED 1 cup of cream!! That is a lot of cream, but I decided to follow the recipe! It ended up being a very thick and heavy soup. Tasty for the first few bites, but I was keeling over by the time I got to the end. 1/2 cup of cream and 1/2 skim milk would be plenty.
3) Next time I would remember to dissolve the corn starch in some hot water/soup before mixing it in with the cream, since my corn starch clumped together when added to cold liquid.
FINALLY, once my potato-broccoli-chickpea-cream-P.B. concoction was simmering, I added a few handfuls of spinach. I would have added more spinach (the original recipe calls for 1/2 lb.) but I didn’t have any. Finally, I seasoned with some cayenne pepper, a bit more cumin, and a sprinkle of nutmeg. The soup is ready when the spinach is just cooked.
The number of spices in this soup and the nuttiness from the peanut butter make it very unique and flavorful. I will definitely make this again with less cream and more greens. Very tasty!