It's rare that we ever get rain that lasts longer than ten minutes in the desert. We the people of the Southwest are used to dry spells, hot days, and clear blue skies. Cloudy days with rain are rare and alarming to us - our everyday is thrown of track and we are affected in our bodies as much as in our minds.
It's been an overcast and rainy week here in Albuquerque, a nice change of pace from our regular weather, if you ask me. I like when we get these bouts of storms that come through, never lingering longer than a couple of days. They ignite a different mood in me; I'm more contemplative, and I move a little slower. If I could, I would stop time from moving during these overcast days; work would be put on hold and life would kind of stand still for a second as nature rolled through, dolling out her storms and blustering winds while I sit at home snuggled in a knit blanket with a cup of hot PG Tips, watching old black and white films.
m and I needed something hearty and uplifting to get us through the rest of the week without showing up to the office in our pajamas. I decided to whip up a pot of my parents Moroccan Chickpea soup, a favorite of one of mine from my parents recipe pantry. Lovers of the food network, I'm positive this recipe comes from one of their favorite TV chefs. I love this soup for its surprising flavor profile - the cumin and paprika give it a earthy and savory taste, while a bit of cinnamon and sugar go a long way into making this the perfect comforting dish for cold and rainy days.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
6 to 8 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 heaping tsp paprika
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 cans chickpeas, draining and rinsed
1 quart vegetable broth
1 tsp sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
1 package pre-washed baby spinach
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onions turn translucent. Add spices and saute for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, broth, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a simmer, then lower heat and gently simmer for 45 minutes. Remove soup from heat. Using a potato masher, mash up some of the chickpeas right in the pot. Stir in spinach and heat through until wilted.
Serve with olive oil lightly drizzled on top.