Bean spinach soup with a tomato base

bean-spinach-soup-cafe-liz

I wasn’t going to post another soup, since they all kind of look the same, but this one came out really well. The cinnamon adds a nice touch, and all that spinach adds good flavor. In any case, I think it’s great to show what you can do without soup mix or premade broth — it’d be nice if certain restaurants were to catch on that you really don’t need these things in proper cooking.

The photo shows the soup alongside some fabulous Moroccan pita I got at the bakery at the foot (Carmelit side) of the Carmel market. You have to eat it quickly, because by the second day it isn’t nearly as good, but then again, eating it quickly isn’t really a problem.

The weights listed for the vegetables below equal approximately one carrot, one medium-sized Israeli zucchini, one red pepper, one onion and five celery stalks. You can throw in some of the celery leaves as well.

For about 6 servings:

1 1/2 c dry kidney beans
1 c brown lentils
200 g carrot, chopped
200 g zucchini, chopped
200 g red pepper, chopped
150 g onion, chopped
5 celery stalks (250 g), chopped
1/2 head garlic, crushed
2 T sweet paprika
1/2 t hot paprika
1 t cinnamon
4-5 bay leaves
3/4 c tomato paste
200 g fresh spinach, chopped
olive oil for frying
salt
pepper

Soak the beans overnight, and add some baking soda to the water — supposedly this cuts down on (human) gas.

Fry the onions, carrot, zucchini, celery and red pepper in some olive oil, in a large pot or pressure cooker. Add the crushed garlic once the other vegetables begin to become soft. Let fry another minute.

Stir in the spices (cinnamon, paprikas, salt, pepper, bay leaves), the beans (drained) and then the tomato paste. Add at least 1.5 liters of water, put the lid on the pot and let cook about 1/2 hour in a pressure cooker, or 1 1/2 hours in a regular pot.

Once the beans are cooked, add the spinach to the soup, and let sit for a few minutes so that the spinach becomes soft. Thin the soup with extra water until it reaches the desired consistency.

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