Thursday, August 4, 2011

Moroccan-Style Chickpea Soup

I know what you're thinking. It's August. It's way too hot for soup. And you're probably right. But, hear me out. I work in a very air-conditioned building and sometimes I DO want a bowl of hot soup for lunch, even in August. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Also, Joe wanted to go out to dinner that night, but I wanted to cook and use up some CSA veggies. So we compromised: he made this soup while I did my TurboFire workout, and then we went out to dinner afterwards. Best of both worlds! When we came home, the soup had cooled and we portioned it into small containers to freeze. I've been enjoying this soup all week long. 

CSA Week 9:

In the box: 1 red leaf lettuce, 1/2 pound spinach, 2 pounds tomatoes, 1 basket grape tomatoes, 1 pound summer squash, 1 bunch basil, 1 head garlic, 1 bunch radishes, 1 basket raspberries.

This soup used the remaining pound of potatoes from last week, and some of the summer squash from this week.

We ate lots of salads this week topped with grape tomatoes, chopped regular tomatoes, basil, and spinach. I followed Barefoot and in the Kitchen's method of prepping the lettuce ahead of time and it helped save a lot of time during the week. I tore lettuce and spinach into pieces, washed them in the salad spinner, and put them into a plastic bag with a paper towel. I only prepped about half of the lettuce this way, then a few days later, I did another batch, since lettuce seems to last longer intact as a head of lettuce than it does torn into pieces.

We made a veggie pizza topped with pesto made from the basil, sliced zucchini and red onion (sauteed first), sliced tomato, and slices of fresh mozzarella. That same night I chopped the rest of the squash and tomatoes to save for a weekend breakfast burritio. We sauteed the veggies, added salsa, black beans, leftover Mexican rice, shredded cheese, and wrapped it in a tortilla.

I don't really care for regular radishes plain; they are pretty spicy for me. But this week I discovered that a great way to cook radishes is to first cook bacon, then saute sliced radishes in the leftover bacon fat in the pan. So good!

Moroccan-Style Chickpea Soup
adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
serves 4-6

Notes: They recommend serving with "plenty of Tabasco". Nice idea, but we totally forgot to do this. We also forgot to mash some of the potatoes with a spoon to thicken the soup, but since we froze the soup, they got a little mashed during the thawing process, so it worked out. If you are planning on freezing some or all of the soup too, you could probably skip the mashing step as well.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika (we only had hot smoked paprika, so we used that)
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 (15.5 ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed
1 pound red potatoes (about 3 medium), scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 pound zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley and/or mint
Pepper, to taste
Lemon wedges and Tabasco, for serving

Using a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened. Add the garlic, paprika, saffron, ginger, and cumin. Cook, stirring, for just 30 seconds, so that they become fragrant. Add the chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes (including their juices), zucchini, and broth. Stir to combine. Cook for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork tender.

Mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon to thicken the soup. Off heat, stir in the fresh herbs. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with lemon wedges and Tabasco.


  1. Good compromise Joe! That's great, I should do something like that. I always want a big batch of soup that I can eat all week long. I never have a surplus of veggies like you do though!

  2. Nice comforting soup. I am going to make some chickpea salad tomorrow.


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