It’s Heart Month so, I am going to share a heart healthy recipe every week in the month of February to inspire you to try some new flavours with less less cholesterol, less fat, less dairy but tons of flavour.

First up is my Moroccan Chickpea Soup. I make it in an Instant Pot but you can make it on the stove top as well. If you choose to do it in pot, I do recommend using canned chickpeas OR pre-cooking the chickpeas before you make the soup. You can add more harissa to make it spicier or use less to take down the heat, but do add at least a little bit. Also, if you do it on the stove top, sauté the onion, garlic, celery and carrot in the olive oil – there is no need to sauté when using a pressure cooker as the intense heat does magic things to the aromatics.

 

Heart Healthy Moroccan Chickpea Soup

serves 8-10 and freezes well

ingredients

2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 cup *dried chickpeas, pre-soaked or 1 large can chickpeas
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 or 3 ribs of celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp harissa paste or to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 80g of parsley (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
About 80g cilantro (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
6 cups of broth – low sodium chicken or vegetable
1 796 ml or 28g can of no sodium plum tomatoes, crushed with your fingers
**optional – 1/2 cup of red lentils – add if you want your soup to be a thicker and heartier

2 lemons
4-6 cubes of frozen spinach or a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
Another handful of both parsley and cilantro for serving
Extra harissa for serving

Directions

*to do a quick pre-soak dried chickpeas, cover 1 cup chickpeas with 4 cups water and 1 tsp kosher salt in your pressure cooker. Bring to a boil using the sauté feature, close the lid and cook for 2 minutes at high pressure. Do a careful release of pressure by testing it to make sure you don’t get foam spewing out and when you are sure that you are good to go, release the pressure.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and dump the water. Set them aside.
OR pre-soak overnight in water, old school.
OR use canned, drained chickpeas (19oz or 540ml)

Throw the everything up to the lemons and spinach in the pot of your electric pressure cooker. Program your pressure cooker for 20 minutes at high pressure. If you use canned chickpeas, program your soup for about 12 minutes.

When the time is up, give it about 5 minutes NPR before releasing the rest of the pressure. Open the lid, squeeze in the juice from the two lemons and throw in the frozen or fresh spinach and put the lid back on and keep warm for about ten minutes to let the spinach defrost and heat up OR the fresh spinach to wilt into the soup.

Serve with extra chopped parsley and cilantro and offer everyone more harissa if they want it spicier