Spring has been here for a while now but it still kinda feels like Winter is in no mood to say goodbye and go into hibernation! The sun is beaming brightly spreading it’s warmth but yet falls short in comparison to the cold winds. The early morning sun-rises are just so welcoming after a long span of gloomy, wet and chilly dawns. The barren trees and landscapes are now lush green radiant with life. The grocery stores and farmers markets are all stocked up with the freshest green spring vegetables. Flowers are blooming everywhere showcasing few the most beautiful and colorful views.
The gardens and parks are filled with people wanting to catch a glimpse of the gorgeous cherry blossoms, tulips, roses, daffodils and various other kinds of flowers. A couple of weeks ago, we visited a near by garden that is a popular spot to savor and capture the beauty of spring. It was a day well spent!
The onset of spring has brought with itself a desire for us to be healthy in body and mind, to strike a balance between eating clean and guilty indulgences. In our home, we have been including some healthy bean soups lately and one of those delicious and healthy soups is this ‘Chickpea Noodle soup’. It is mildly spiced with cinnamon, anise and cloves. The protein rich chickpeas blended with these spices brings out beautiful flavors. I have used multi-grain spaghetti for the noodles which in itself adds a starchy component to the soup and makes it quite filling. I have also made this before as an after workout quick fix dinner and was so pleased that it is just so easy to put together and doesn’t compromise on flavors. The turmeric enhances the colors and the chilli powder and ground pepper give an additional spice kick to the soup.
Serve this soup warm garnished with fresh chives or any of your favorite herbs.
Prep time + Cook time: 25 mins
- Chickpeas – 19 oz can or 2 cups soaked overnight and boiled
- Spaghetti – 1 cup cooked/boiled
- Onion – 1/2 – finely chopped
- Garlic cloves – 4 – roughly minced
- Cinnamon stick – 1
- Anise star – 1
- Cloves – 4
- Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
- Paprika/Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
- Pepper (freshly ground) – 1/2 tsp + more while serving
- Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
- Chives – roughly cut
1. Empty the canned chickpeas into a colander. Rinse thoroughly under fresh running water to remove alll the canning residue from the beans. If using dry chickpeas, soak them overnight and then boil them for around 15 to 20 minutes and set aside.
2. In a deep pan, heat around 5 cups of water with a pich of salt. When it comes to a boil, add around 3/4th cup of broken spaghetti and cook until it is done. Save about 1 to 1n1/2 cups of this water and drain the rest. Set the spaghetti aside.
3. In a sauce pan, heat about 2 tsps of oil (odorless and tasteless oil like canola). Add cinnamon stick, anise star and cloves. Saute and when they begin to dance around add garlic. Saute for a minute or so.
4. Now, add finely chopped onions and saute until they are nice and translucent. Add turmeric, chilli powder, ground pepper and salt. Add the rinsed and drained chickpeas to the pan and saute for a about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the stove and set aside for it to cool down a bit.
5. Take this mixture into a blender leaving out a handful of chickpeas (optional), cinnamon stick and anise in the pan. Add a cup of the spaghetti water and puree into a smooth texture (this imparts the spaghetti flavor into the soup).
6. Empty the puree back into the sauce pan, add spaghetti, 1/2 cup of spaghetti water and bring to a boil.Then, turn off the stove and strain out the cinnamon stick and anise.
Serve in bowls garnished with fresh chives or coriander or any of other herbs.