subtitle: or how to make something good and then spoil it.
1 tin chickpeas drained and rinsed
2 tblsp olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped or pressed
1 tin tomatoes or 500g fresh tomatoes chopped
2 teasp sweet paprika
500g potatoes peeled and diced
500g spinach washed, stemmed and roughly chopped
a couple of generous glugs of dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
Fry the onion in the oil in a soup pot until softened – not browned. Add the garlic and paprika, stir a few times, then the white wine, increase temperature to burn off the alcohol. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, chickpeas and salt, not to mention several cups of water. Once all this is cooked, probably about 30 minutes, add the spinach and as soon as it is wilted, it is ready to serve. If you are adding bread to the soup, which you can douse in vinegar first, do that at the same time as the spinach.
The original recipe from which I took my ingredients adds saffron – I was too stingy to do this. I did, however, find it bland enough to figure a vegetarian chicken stock cube would be a sensible addition. Apparently it is normal to add all sorts of things to this while serving including pine nuts, parsley, hard-boiled egg, bread. I decided to add a pesto of olive oil, parsley and pine nuts right at the end, and serve with toast.
So far so good.
Come day two and I was looking for a thermos lunch soup and I didn’t really figure this combination of chunky bits in a very watery stock was the thing, so I pureed it, adding the pesto at this stage. Unfortunately the combination of red, white and green – so I discover – looks more like something making a speedy retreat from your body, rather than something you want to shovel into it. You may say this is too much information. I say it may save the reader from a similar fate. At any rate, it was most enthusiastically eaten by my most loyal fans. What can I say? One of the advantages of living in Geneva is that even egregious cooking faux pas can be overlooked.