Spinach and chickpea soup with carom yoghurt
Spinach is, luckily, in season in the UK all year round. If you can find large spinach, instead of baby spinach, use that for this recipe. It is also lovely simply steamed and served with a little sliced fried garlic.
This dish has been served with dairy free yoghurt and carom seeds. Carom, also know as black cumin, is used to aid digestion. It is the main ingredient of ajwain water, a tonic used for bloating in India. The seeds can be used to make a tea using a tea infuser. The flavour is a combination of cumin and fennel seed. You can buy carom seeds in most Indian food stores.
Makes enough for 2 as a main dish, 4 as a starter
2t rapeseed or sunflower oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2t stock powder
1/2t hot smoked paprika
1t toasted and ground coriander seeds (toasting and grinding spice seeds will produce a much richer flavour)
1/2t sea or Himalayan salt
1 litre of water
20g coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 tins or jars of chickpeas (for a smoother soup use jarred)
For serving (optional)
Sugar free dairy free yoghurt
A few carom seeds (which aid digestion)
Hot smoked paprika
Wilt the spinach in a pan with a splash of water on a high heat (you can use the saucepan you will use for the soup if you like). Remove from the pan and chop until it is very fine.
Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan, add the onion and celery, lower the heat and put a lid or plate on top. This will help to sweat the vegetables making them cook well without too much oil.
Once the onions are translucent, around 10 minutes, add the garlic, cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the stock, paprika, ground coriander, salt, water, coriander leaves and chickpeas. Turn the heat up, once it is boiling reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes to let all of the flavours merge. Remove from the heat, blend half of the soup with a hand / immersion blender or in a jug blender that is suitable for hot liquids.
Serve alongside yoghurt with carom seeds, add a scattering of paprika and hemp seeds on the soup.