Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Middle Eastern Greens Soup

As part of the ongoing greens craze, we made this soup a couple of times in the last week - it was *so* good the first time around, it totally warranted an immediate repeat :)

The recipe that we adapted from is Mollie Katzen's Middle Eastern Spinach Soup from the kick-ass Still Life With Menu cookbook.

I loved Mollie's recipe, but sometimes spinach seems a little wimpy. It seemed like this recipe warranted stronger greens - chard, collard, the works :) So, we added a variety of greens and let them work their mojo.

The original recipe also asked for rice or potatoes, but in an ongoing effort to skip carbs where possible and focus on fibre instead, I went with garbanzo beans instead - think I'll stick with that as a permanent alternative.

The net result was quite fabulous, especially the way the yogurt accentuated the flavors of the greens. We ended up with this really thick soup that could be slurped up or dipped into or even eaten with rotis like daal!

Middle Eastern Greens Soup
Thank you, Mollie Katzen

Servings: 4

1 small bunch of spinach

4 leaves of collard greens

4 leaves of rainbow chard

4-5 cloves of crushed garlic

1 cup of chopped shallots

2-4 cups of water
1 T olive oil

1 t ground cumin

1 t freshly ground cinnamon
1/2 t turmeric
1 t cayenne

1.5 cups of cooked garbanzo beans
1 cup firm yogurt - room temperature

salt to taste


1/2 cup of shredded mango

Heat the oil in a saucepan and saute the garlic and shallots along with the salt and spices until tender - about 10 minutes.

Add the greens and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Toss in the garbanzo beans along with the water and cook for 12-14 minutes.

At this point, the soup can be left as is or pureed. We ended up running a hand blender and making a coarse puree.

Stir in the yogurt along with the cayenne and maybe even a dash of black pepper.

Serve topped with the shredded mango - the mango was semi-ripe, so it added a sweet-tart flavour to the soup - turned out to be the perfect garnish.

This soup was divine (think I said that already!) - the funny thing was how cinnamon totally defined the flavor of the soup, even more than the cumin. I'm not usually a big cinnamon person, but this was really flavourful - a definite win.

In honor of the positive cinnamon effect, this has to go to Sunita for her fabulous Think Spice event - the theme for the month is cinnamon. Sorry this is late, Sunita, but I think you'll like it anyway :)


Nags said...

green soups are always the healthiest! looks yummy!

Sagari said...

wowww soup looks toooo good

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

Yum, that sounds delicious! Anything with chard makes me happy!

Shella said...

I have been looking for soup recipes, n this one looks quite inviting. I am not too much of a soup person, but am trying to create a palate for it.

sunita said...

Of course, I like it...thanks :-)

James said...

Wow ..this looks delicious. I like it very much. Let me try to follow this recipe.

mikocoffey said...

This recipe is wonderful. Just made it and my husband LOVED it. We had it with naan bread and it was perfect. I'm a big Mollie Katzen fan too - and I think she would love what you have done with her inspiration :-)

Kate said...

Looked good & sounded like a good idea but there was no getting around the bitter taste of the collard greens.