Thursday, June 5, 2008

What's Cooking? Garlic, Chick-pea, and Spinach Soup

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I don't know what it is about this soup, but I can't stop eating it. The first time I made it, I didn't like it. How is that for an introduction? It was a few months later that I decided to try it again because it has two ingredients that I find tasty; spinach and chick-peas (also known as garbanzo beans). Since I'm sure you are familiar with spinach, I'll just tell you a little more about chick-peas.

Chick-peas are a staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. They are part of the legume family, with a nutty flavor and creamy texture, and are a great source of carbohydrates, folate, zinc,and protein. Since they are a legume, lengthy cooking is required before using them when purchasing them dry. The American Diabetes Association includes chick-peas as a healthy and recommended food in the "grains and starches" section of their food pyramid. I usually (all the time) use canned chick-peas because of the lengthy preparation process (24+ soaking hours and then cooking hours). If you've got the time (and the patience), then go for it otherwise, look for canned chick-peas like Eden Foods (available online or at most high-end grocery stores) brand that doesn't add extra salt to their beans (plus, they're organic). Canned beans keeps this quick and simple recipe, just that.

You may be a fan of chick-peas and not even know it. They are used to make hummus, dips, sandwich spreads, veggie burgers, and you may have noticed these "hazelnut-looking" balls as accents on a green leafed salad. Garlic, Chick-pea, and Spinach Soup is "What's cooking?" this week.

Visit Just Bean Recipes for more chick-pea recipes. Because these are a favorite food of mine, I will also feature more chick-pea recipes on future "What's cooking?" editions.

Quick Tip: Check the production date on the package of dried chick-peas because old beans will not soften regardless of soaking time.

recipe: E-mail me for Garlic, Chick-pea, and Spinach Soup.

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1 comment:

Jen said...

Tnat sounds yummy. Spinach and chickpeas are two fo my favorites as well.