Recipe Review: This soup was very tasty. It wasn't "spicy" as in hot it was spicy as in good flavours from the ginger and mixed spices. I found the texture was a little awkward given it was partially mashed with a potato masher. I think I'd prefer it to be all blended or left chunky. But with Simon not liking "brothy" soups this worked well for him. If I make this again I would puree the sweet potato, add the chickpeas, cook until softened and warmed through, then add the spinach for a few seconds until wilted. I'd find this more pleasing to my senses.
Cooking time: 40 minutes Serves: 4 - 6
Preheat oven: Stove top only
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
- 2 onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 thumb-size piece fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp for serving
- 1kg sweet potatoes
- 1 400g can chickpeas, drained
- 850ml chicken or vegetable broth
- 100 g baby spinach
- salt and pepper
- 4 tbsp thick plain yogurt, or more, to serve
1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and chilli flakes and cook for 1 minute, or until they start to jump around the pan and smell toasty. Scoop half of the spices out of the pan and set aside. Take the pan off the heat while you prepare the vegetables.
2. Chop the onions very roughly, crush the garlic, and finely grate the ginger. Gently heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil in the pan, then add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook gently for 5 minutes until the onions are starting to soften.
There’s no need to peel ginger if it’s going to be finely grated. Discard any skin and fibrous bits that you’re left with on the outside of the grater when you’re finished.
3. While you wait, peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes.
4. Stir the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and broth into the pan, cover with a lid, and simmer for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.*
5. Use a potato masher to mash most of the potato to a pulp to make a thick soup. Season with salt and pepper, then roughly chop the spinach and stir it in. After a few seconds the spinach will wilt.**
6. Serve in bowls topped with a spoonful of the yogurt, a sprinkle of the reserved spice mixture, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
MAKE IT WITH SQUASH (Pumpkin)
Butternut squash or pumpkin work wonderfully in this soup, but can take a little while to prepare. Either buy pre-cut cubes or allow 10 more minutes to peel and seed the flesh
* & ** I'd rewrite steps 4 & 5 as follows:
4. Stir the sweet potatoes and broth into the pan, cover with a lid and simmer until the potatoes are soft.
5. Blend the mixture then return to the stove.
6. Add the chickpeas and cook until softened and warmed through.
7. Add the spinach until wilted.
8. Follow the original step 6 as is.