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Rutland Area Farm and Food Link (RAFFL) promotes local food knowledge, production and market opportunities for farmers and community members throughout our region.

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

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Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

Steve Peters

moroccan chickpea soup

When we do cooking demos at our farm to workplace sites, attendees are always looking for quick, minimal effort recipes and methods. These are the 9-5 type of folks who have full schedules or families and need to get home and put something together for dinner in a relatively short amount of time. Although personally, I love to spend hours in my kitchen, I also love to show people that cooking good food doesn't have to be difficult or take long.

Yvonne Brunot prepared this recipe at a recent demo and I thought it was an ideal fit for our soup theme. First, it showed that soups don't have to take hours, in fact, just half an hour can work fine. Similarly to the Green Lentil Soup with Curry Butter recipe, the extent of the active cooking here is just chopping an onion and mincing some garlic. What does that take - five minutes maybe? Easy. Then, the soup simmers for short period of time while you get other things done and you've got diner in no time.

Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1 large onion, medium diced 6  cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 heaping teaspoon sweet paprika 2 cups or 1 14oz can chopped tomatoes 3 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed well 1 quart vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth 1 teaspoon sugar Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 5-ounces baby spinach

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until the onions begin to turn translucent; lower heat if browning starts to occur. Add spices and saute a minute or so. Add tomatoes, chickpeas and broth. Season with a couple pinches of salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Stir well. Chickpeas should be just covered with liquid. Add some water, if needed.

Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to low and gently simmer for 25 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Use a potato masher or immersion blender to mash up some of the chickpeas right in the pot. Stir in the spinach and let heat through until wilted, just a couple minutes. Season again, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve.

Adapted from Dave Lieberman at foodnetwork.com