italian chickpea and spinach soup

1 oz (28 g) dried porcini mushrooms soaked in 3 cups (750 ml) lukewarm water for 1 hour
1 lb (450 g) fresh spinach, thoroughly rinsed (or 10 oz (280 g) frozen spinach, thawed)
4 tablespoons (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1-2 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
19oz (532 g) can chickpeas, drained
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

lift the mushrooms from the liquid without stirring up the liquid too much and chop them semi-fine.  Strain the liquid through a strainer lined with a coffee filter or paper towel and reserve.  

if using fresh spinach, remove the stems and cook in a covered pan with the water clinging to the leaves until tender, about 5 minutes.  Drain the spinach and chop coarsely.  If using frozen spinach, chop coarsely.

heat the oil in a large soup pot over moderate heat and sauté the onion until tender but not brown, about 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.  

add the mushrooms, spinach, chickpeas, the filtered mushroom liquid, salt, and pepper, and bring to a simmer.  Reduce the heat to very low and simmer covered for 1 hour.  The soup should be more like a dense stew rather than a liquid broth.  Serve garnished with grated Parmesan. 

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posted by sasha on 11 Feb 06 - 8964 views


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