Wednesday, 17 October 2012

moorish chickpea and spinach soup - a random recipe

... down in the big smoke again this week and it's all just getting busier and busier for The Persuaders which I simply love... nothing makes me happier than being ruinously busy with stuff and though I may moan and groan about it, secretly I just love it...

... we had our first official meeting with the PR agency we've appointed to help us promote the Mums Show Live next year, which is so exciting as they seemed to really get us, which must be quite a daunting thing, as you'd know if you'd ever had to sit in the same room as me and my brother for more than ten minutes, so they pretty much won the job on that amazing feat alone...

... i'm also 'helping' mum organise her boyfriend's (god that sounds weird) 75th birthday party... 75 sounds relatively old doesn't it but apart from being the worlds biggest hypochondriac Eric could actually pass for a much younger man... both he and mum do more stuff in a week than The Viking and I do in a month - they're constantly off to the theatre, cinema, art galleries... if the government actually knew how much they abuse their OAP status they'd probably revoke them for the whole country... I'm hoping it's hereditary although I did do my fair share of partying when I was younger so my body is pretty much ruined now... the party is going to be quite a big affair and there's quite a bit to plan but mum seems to have thrown herself into with a relish, so it's bound to be spectacular... I may surprise him with a special cake but I better be careful what I say here, you never know who's reading...

sopa de garbanzos
who knew the humble chickpea could be so creative... I would never have made this glorious soup had it not been for the brilliant random recipes challenge, hosted so wonderfully by the charming and increasingly handsome Dom from Belleau Kitchen... a little bit laborious but what else have you got to do with your Wednesday's eh?

recipe adapted from Casa Moro - The Second Cookbook by Sam and Sam Clark

450g dried chickpeas
150ml olive oil
300g spinach
75g white bread - crusts removed, cut into 2cm cubes
3 garlic cloves - thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 heaped tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
1 small dried chilli - crumbled
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
700-800ml water or chickpea liquor
60 saffron threads - infused with 4 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
sea salt and black pepper

- place the dried chickpeas into bowl, add a pinch of bicarb and cover with plenty of water, leave to soak overnight

- when you're ready to cook, drain the chickpea well, place them in a pan with a head of garlic, cover with cold water and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, skimming off any scum, for 1-2 hours or until soft and tender

- place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add some olive oil, when hot throw in the spinach with a pinch of salt, stir well and cook until the leaves are tender, cool, chop finely and set aside

- next fry the bread until golden, then add the garlic and cumin, when the garlic begin to colour add the oregano and chilli and continue to cook until the garlic is brown, add the vinegar and whizz with a stick blender until you have a paste

- add the drained chickpeas to the bread paste along with the water, saffron and paprikaand simmer for 10 minutes

- whizz the whole lot again until as smooth or lumpy as you like, stir in the spinach and simmer till it's all warm, check the seasoning and serve

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. Confort soup and beautiful cocotte!!!

  2. Ok, here's a thing I never know the answer to: for that weight of dried chickpeas, how many cans of the lazy house wife's (saturated?) non-dried version?

    1. Sorry for my tardy reply, I had to get home and read what the book said.. They say use equivalent weight of drained tinned chickpeas so I guess it depends on how big the tins are. Hope this helps x

  3. Moorish soup, but no doubt also "moreish". Hope the party goes well!

  4. Not laborious at all and definitely worth the effort. I loved your moorish pun too! :)

  5. I have really embraced chickpeas lately. My own parents are in amazing shape and dad will turn 86 this year. They go to Britain a couple of times a year and hike the lake district, dad skis, and they walk every day in their home town. If they had their way they move back to England in their later years just for the freedom of walking anywhere they like.

  6. Don't get too tired Dom, you sound a bit hysterical! Soup looks good, randomness has not reached me yet, I am also far too busy but taking Monday off to have some me time (which probably means cooking and blogging!)

  7. Don't forget despite all the excitement to leave some "me time" too Dom, but I am so excited for you at the me time too! That looks just fabulous and I am a big lover of the Moro cookbooks and ethos......a great random recipe!

  8. Those look incredibly mouthwatering! Thanks for the tips.

  9. This soup is right up my alley, looks delicious. Good luck with Mum's boyfriend's cake...can't wait to see what you come up with!

  10. This soup sounds ideal for chilly, rainy weather. Hooray!

  11. i'm also 'helping' mum organise her boyfriend's (god that sounds weird) 75th birthday party.


  12. This soup is perfect for an Autumn day. Yum x

  13. great soup and the Mum event looks fun

  14. A wonderfully warming autumnal soup, thanks for sharing this recipe.

  15. Oh and thanks all for the lovely comments - may I add that the soup is indeed called Moorish Chickpea and Spinach so whilst the pun is cute it's not mine to claim nor intentional! Xx

  16. Oooooooh this sounds very moorish! I think I can smell it from here.

  17. aw your mum and he rboyfriend sound so sweet! I'm sure you'll be fit and fiddlign about in the kitchen even when you're 80. and partying=dancing=exercise, no? ;) Love the (accidental) pun on the name of the soup, and it looks yummy as always dom x

  18. My kind of soup. Good luck with you venture Dom.

  19. The increasingly handsome Dom is getting increasingly big for his boots - just as well he's such a wizz in the kitchen ;-)

  20. I like to cook my own garbanzos. You don't have all that extra sodium. Great recipe for a work day lunch too. Soups like this with a lot of protein is something I enjoy.

  21. The humble chickpea is sadly underrated. Sounds delicious.

  22. I love chick peas and spinach and soup so this sounds like my kind of meal. With the cumin and fresh oregano - and saffron! - I can't wait to try it!

  23. This looks delicious, healthy and frugal too. Reckon it could be a good one to use my chard from the garden in. Very much enjoying your blog.


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