Spicy Chick Pea Soup

This is my new favorite soup! Have you ever had collards? Today, I am featurIng this neglected super food: collard greens!

If you are a Southerner (U.S.), you probably have ‘traditional’ collard greens and black-eyed peas on New Years day to bring abundance and good fortune 🍀 to your New Year! 🎉 Join me for a visit to Flavor Town in the soup factory!

COLLARD GREENS: Full of Energy! “Super Food”

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 bunches of collard greens ( You decide how much you want – more is good)
  • 3-4 red onions
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. smoked paprika (heaping)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds (smash, do not grind)
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon (heaping)
  • 10-15 green or white cardamon pods*
  • 2-3 cans chick peas (drained: 14-16 fl oz)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes** with 2 (tomato) cans of water
  • 3 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • A handful of chopped cilantro ( or parsley) about 1/2 cup

DIRECTIONS

  • Assemble and mix your dry spices in one bowl Rinse and chop collards (Rip or cut out the hard center stem)
  • Add oil to your dutch oven (or heavy pot). Then add chopped onions, heat until translucent. Add chopped garlic and blend quickly.
  • Add spices and mix well with onions and garlic [ add more oil if ingredients start to dry up ]. You want to mix the spices with the onion for optimal flavor.
  • Add 2 cans of drained chick peas
  • Add chopped collards
  • Add 1 can of tomatoes + 2 cans of water. (more water if soup looks more like a stew)
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add pink salt and chopped cilantro in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Optional: Add about 1 tsp. of fresh thyme, rosemary and/or 1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes for added heat Add these additional spices in the beginning with sauteed onions.
Chick Pea Soup With Collard Greens (Topped With Toasted Black & White Sesame Seeds). I sometimes sprinkle chia seeds.

VARIATIONS

  • More Vegetables:- Add 1, 2 carrots and/or a handful of mushrooms. I do add extra veggies (If they are in the house).
  • Chick pea substitute:- Use white navy beans, cannellini beans, lentils, or black-eyed peas or a blend of various beans.
  • Collard substitute:- Swiss chard or kale, (or spinach).
  • FLAVOR BOOST: 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of Maggi chicken powder, or 1 cup of homemade stock! I do add Maggi powder – I call it Maggi Magic!

Chick peas (garbanzo beans) are very high in protein. Good choice to reduce high blood pressure, reduce wrinkles, weight loss and much more.

Green Cardamom – Mild, Aromatic Spice. A Perennial Plant In The Ginger Family
  • * TIP1: Gently pound dry cardamom with a mortar and pestle. Then, remove most of the pod casing with a sieve or by hand. Keep pod casings for stock or when boiling rice.
    ** TIP2: Use POMI tomatoes (or San Marzano tomatoes). Order online or check at Costco, your supermarket or Italian grocery stores.

PRECAUTION: Eating chick peas, may make you bloat or get a stomach ache. Instead, use white navy beans or broad (fava) beans. Fava beans are good for the immune system and improves bone density. (Info provided by my biologist neighbor)

SALT TIP: When salt is added to food early in the cooking process, it tends to break out the water in the vegetables being cooked. To retain moisture and flavour from the spices, salt is added at the end. Also, adding salt early tends to make the chick peas hard.

If you like this recipe and make it, snap a photo send it to me, or, share it on your social media. I can check it out and leave a comment! 😀

Healthy Snacks and Appetizer

Craving a snack?  Need an appetizer to serve?  Why bother with a cracker? Use nature’s vessel.  Have you been putting your sandwich fixings in a piece of lettuce to avoid carbs and gluten?  Well, now you can substitute a piece of endive for the proverbial cracker. You can use this for tuna salad, egg salad, salmon salad, Caesar salad, beet pomegranate orange salad, beet pomegranate feta salad, the list goes on….. It adds just a little bite to your snack. As much as I am an anchovy hater, I will even add some anchovy paste to my egg salad to give it a bite.  When you bite into your food, you want it to just slightly bite youIMG_3553 back.  Yum! Yum!