Meg and I live on opposite ends of town. At times it seems we might as well live on opposite ends of the country--with kids and spouses and full-time jobs, it can be hard to squeeze in regular time to hang out. One place our families often get together is a cute brewery in Meg’s neighborhood, where they serve the most decadent (and vegan!) creamy garbanzo bean soup. (So what if I order it with a side of fries?)
When I tasted this soup the first time, I immediately set about crafting a recipe to replicate it. Using the magic of Google, I found a non-soup recipe from The Kitchn that seemed to incorporate similar flavors, and I set about turning it into a soup. This is what I serve to company for dinner--including my mother, a fabulous cook--and I always make enough to eat for lunches for several days. Though I am always hesitant to cook a big batch of something, in case it goes to waste, I never ever ever get sick of this soup.
This is easy enough to make on a weeknight, but I suggest making a huge pot of it on Sunday so you can enjoy it for lunch (and even breakfast) for the week ahead.
Creamy Coconut Spinach and Chickpea Soup
1 splash of olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 - 6 large cloves garlic, minced or thinly sliced
1 tsp. ground ginger
zest of 1 large lemon (you’ll use the juice too)
1 pinch red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 3 cups cooked chickpeas)
2 cans diced tomatoes with their juice
2 cans light coconut milk (or 1 light can and 1 regular can for thicker creaminess)
2 large lemons, juiced
1 pound baby spinach or kale (or really any other leafy green)
1. Drain and rinse your chickpeas and set aside. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add your onion. Cook for a few minutes, until slightly softened.
2. Combine garlic, ginger, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes in a prep bowl, then add at once to the pot. Cook for a minute or so, until the garlic becomes fragrant and is starting to soften.
3. Add the chickpeas to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes to coat the chickpeas with the onion mixture.
4. Add the tomato and coconut milk, along with the lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to get a nice simmer.
5. Add your spinach or other greens in batches, gently submerging the greens and cooking until very wilted.
6. Allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes, or more if you have time. Enjoy!