This hearty, warming and spicy soup is absolutely packed with goodness and works really well as an easy, low fat and low G.I. training supper to cheer you up on a cold, drizzly winter’s day. Chickpeas are a great source of minerals and fibre and they provide a virtually fat-free source of protein, the fresh ginger is fantastic to use in your training diet as an anti-inflammatory and of course, spinach, is just brimming with nutrients including iron and vitamin C; it pays to heed the famous words of my hero Mr Popeye:
“I’m strong to the finish, ’cause I eats me spinach”
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 2 sweet potatoes, or 1 large one, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 x garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 cm chunk root ginger, sliced very finely or grated
- 1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
- 200g fresh, tender spinach leaves
- 1 x 400g can chickpeas
- 2 x tomatoes or 100ml passata
- 1 tsp cumin seeds, dry fried for one minute and crushed in a pestle and mortar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp honey
- ¼ tsp English mustard powder
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion for a few minutes.
- Add the sweet potato, the garlic and the ginger and fry for a further minute or two. Add the cumin, cinnamon and cayenne and mustard powder and cook for 30 seconds, gently stirring the mixture all the time.
- Stir in the chickpeas, the tomatoes and the honey and cook for two minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the stock and bring the mixture to the boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the sweet potato is tender.
- Puree the soup in a blender until smooth. Season with plenty of salt and black pepper.
- Pour back into the saucepan, stir in the spinach leaves and cook for a further minute or two until the spinach is wilted.
- Serve in warmed soup bowls with some warm, crusty wholemeal bread.