Harissa Spiced Tomato, Chickpea and Spinach Soup

Hi!  You probably thought I had abandoned my blog as it’s been so long since I posted anything, but fear not, I was just having a break!  My Dad came over for a flying visit and I was busy catching up with him and I also imported my dog from Qatar where I used to live.  Everything was going well until my dog, Lucy, got held in transit due to a slight hiccup with the paperwork!  The poor people in cargo had to deal with me crying my eyes out as they  tried to reassure me that she was fine.  Needless to say she arrived a couple of days later and not at all bothered about her ‘adventure’.   She’s quite a resilient girl, we rescued her from a junk yard where she’d been chained up and pecked by hens most of her short life until we came along.

Lucy

She’s loving her new life in Scotland.  Loves her walks in the countryside and enjoys throwing herself around the heather in my garden.  She doesn’t seem to mind the colder temperatures either, not too sure what she’ll make of snow though when it arrives.

Lucy in heather 1

It’s lovely having her here, she’s currently sleeping at my feet as I type.  They do say pets become a part of your family and she is definitely part of ours.

I made this soup on a very grey, damp day last week to warm myself and my Dad up.  I had all the ingredients in so I thought I’d give it a try and get Dad’s opinion.  I’m happy to report he thought it was ‘great’, which is particularly good as he doesn’t like spinach!  I think I converted him into liking it…maybe.

The harissa is just subtle enough to warm you without being overpowering, if you prefer more heat add another teaspoon.  Harissa has such a lovely, aromatic flavour, you can use it soups, pasta sauces, in dips, as a marinade, it really is versatile and a little goes a long way in terms of flavour.

Ingredients

-1 Tbsp. rapeseed oil

-1 red onion, finely diced

-1 garlic clove, crushed

-1 Tsp. harissa paste

-1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

-1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed well

-500ml vegetable stock

-2 generous handfuls of baby spinach

-juice and zest of 1 lemon

-salt & pepper to taste

How to Make

In a medium size saucepan, heat the oil over a medium heat and add the onions.  Cook the onions for 2-3 minutes then add the garlic.  Cook for a further 2 minutes until the onions are translucent.

Add the harissa and stir until the onions and garlic are coated.

Add the tomatoes, stock and chickpeas.  Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the lemon juice, zest spinach and continue to cook, with the lid off until the spinach is wilted.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

You can swirl some yoghurt over the top of the soup just before serving.

Tom & chickpea soup

Enjoy 🙂

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