This may not be the prettiest bowl of food, but it was really delicious and very easy. Definite recommend!
And yes, I did the garnish. It was kinda fun, but watch out when dropping battered chickpeas into boiling oil. Splatter!
Spinach Soup with Indian Spices and Fried Chickpeas (Dana Slatkin)
Serves 6 as a first course
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup white miso paste
- 1 (16-ounce) bag frozen spinach
- a 2-inch piece fresh ginger root, grated
- 1-1/2 quarts best-quality vegetable or chicken broth
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- A squeeze of lime juice to garnish (optional)
Fried Chick Peas
- 4-6 cups canola or grapeseed oil
- 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and dried well on kitchen towels
- 1-1/4 cups rice flour
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 egg
- 1 cup beer
1. For the soup, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 6-8 minutes.
2. Add the curry powder, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon stick and stir to combine. Cook for a minute until fragrant.
3. Add the miso paste and stir to distribute. Add the spinach. Squeeze the grated ginger into the pot, discarding the pulp. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer until the vegetables are very tender and the flavors have incorporated, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, then blend the soup in small batches until smooth, adjusting seasoning as needed. Keep warm while you prepare the Fried Chick Peas.
4. Pour the grapeseed oil into a heavy pot or cast iron skillet and heat over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles rapidly. To avoid splatters, have a fry cover on hand. In a medium bowl, stir together the rice flour, spices and sea salt. While whisking, add the beer and egg and blend until smooth. The mixture should be the consistency of melted ice cream. Add more beer if necessary to thin the batter. Working in small batches, coat the chick peas in batter, carefully drop them into the hot oil a few at a time (they will splatter so keep your distance), and deep-fry until golden, a few minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. Season with salt and keep warm.
5. To serve the soup, ladle it into bowls and sprinkle a few warm fried chick peas in the middle. Squeeze a little lime juice over the top. Alternatively, transfer the soup to a large container, cool, and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze.