Claudia Roden’s Spanish spinach and chickpea soup

I first discovered this dish on a blog called One Dish Closer, well worth taking a look at. It made me buy the book. I haven’t tried a lot from it yet, but this recipe alone gives it a place on my kitchen bookshelf.

Spanish spinach and chickpea soup
Spanish spinach and chickpea soup

Ingredients

3 medium potatoes (500g) peeled and cut into quarters
2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock, stock cube if you like
500g spinach leaves, fresh or frozen and defrosted, chopped
1 tablespoon red or white vinegar
Salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 slices of bread (about 75g), crusts removed
1 teaspoon pimentón dulce or sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
A pinch of ground chilli pepper or cayenne (optional)
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled, yolks reserved and whites chopped

Method

In a large saucepan bring the potatoes, chickpeas and 750ml of the stock to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or so. Add the chopped spinach, stir in as it collapses. Add vinegar and simmer another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and bread, and stir until brown: don’t burn the garlic! Put in a mixer/blender with the spices and egg yolks and puree. Add the remainder of the stock and blend again. Mix into the soup, simmer another 10 minutes, stir in the chopped egg whites. You can add a little water if you think necessary before serving, but this is supposed to be chunky, maybe a stew as much as a soup.

This is really a wonderful soup. Half asleep a couple of days ago I pureed the whole soup and this turned out to be okay as well. In fact there may be times you might prefer it, for example, as a small start to a meal.

Serve with bread or toast.

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