Mint-Spinach Soup with Crispy Carrots and Chickpeas

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If you want to learn how to be a better cook, one of the easiest ways to up your game is with garnish. Soup is typically very dull and boring, but garnish can take it to the next level. This Mint-Spinach Soup is topped with oven roasted carrots and chickpeas, yogurt, and fresh mint leaves that have been roasted with ras el hanout seasoning.

What is Ras el Hanout?

Ras el hanout literally translates to “head of shop”, but when spoken in Arabic, it means “top shelf”. Legend has it that this Moroccan spice blend was created by North African spice dealers. They would mix together the best of the best spices and herbs to create a rich, aromatic seasoning that sometimes had dozens of spices involved.

Ginger, cardamon, mace, cinnamon, allspice, coriander, nutmeg, turmeric, black pepper, white pepper, cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, anise, cloves, paprika, fenugreek, nutmeg, or sugar may all be included, lending deep flavor to dishes.

In this dish, the bold aroma of the ras el hanout plays off the sweetness of the carrots and the blandness of the chickpeas. When roasting the chickpeas and carrots, be sure to evenly coat them with seasoning and oil by rolling them around on the sheet pan, and perhaps getting your hands a little dirty. The drier that you can get the chickpeas before roasting, the crispier they will become.

Looking for another Easy Dinner?

Check out this recipe for Green Pea and Asparagus Risotto. Takes time, yes, but super simple cooking that can translate into a ton of different dishes.


This meal was inspired by Purple Carrot, my favorite vegan meal subscription service. To get the box directly to your doorstep, subscribe now.

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Minted Spinach Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield:2 servings

Ingredients

3 small carrots, diced

1 – 14 oz. can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and dried

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons ras el hanout

salt and pepper to taste

1 medium onion, diced

1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small bunch of mint, about 1/2 ounce, destemmed, and roughly chopped

8 oz. baby spinach, roughly chopped

2 teaspoon Better than Bullion vegetable stock concentrate

1/4 cup plant-based yogurt

Instructions

For the Garnish

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, and add diced carrots and half of the chickpeas. Coat with 2 tablespoons olive oil and add ras el hanout, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until crispy.

For the Soup

  1. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add diced onion, minced ginger, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Next, add the remaining half of the chickpeas, almost all of the mint leaves, spinach, vegetable stock concentrate, 1 1/4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until greens have completely wilted.
  3. Transfer the minted spinach soup to a VitaMix blender, and blend until completely silky smooth. Be sure to vent the blender by removing the center piece in the lid. Begin blending on low, and slowly increase speed to high. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve

  1. Divide the minted spinach soup between two bowls. Swirl in the plant-based yogurt and top with carrots and chickpeas. Finally, garnish with remaining mint.

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