This is one of mums own twists on the soup from the legendary Kurdish meal, Kifta (AKA my all-time favourite dinner/my ‘death row’ meal). Kifta is complex and can take hours of preparation, so this soup is the perfect flavour fix without the effort. The recipe was tweaked by mum to bring out the best in every ingredient, giving you an end result that balances sweet, smoky and spicy warmth, essentially turning it into a hug in a bowl.  It’s also vegan, and full of goodness. 

Preparation time:10 minutes
Cooking time:30 minutes
Serves: 4

2 medium sized onions
500g fresh beetroot
200g fresh spinach leaves
200g double concentrate tomato purée
5 cups (1250ml) boiled water
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
Fresh ground pepper to taste

400g tin cooked chickpeas – drained
1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tbsp curry powder
salt to taste

1. On a low heat, add 2 tbsp sunflower oil to a large pot. Peel and finely chop the onions and throw in with the oil. Sweat down for 5 minutes.

2. Peel and grate the beetroot – this process will stain your hands (and everything in the vicinity) purple, so carry out with caution (Use the grate attachment of a food processor to minimise mess, if you have one). Add this to the onions and season with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp ground cumin. Cover with a lid and let simmer/steam for another 5 minutes. 

3. Boil the kettle. Add 200g tomato purée and stir in. After around 3 minutes, add 5 cups (1.25L) boiled water and gentle stir. Cover with a lid and leave to simmer on a low heat for 25 – 30 minutes. 

4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp sunflower oil in a frying pan. Once the oil is hot, add the drained chickpeas, 1 tbsp curry powder and a sprinkling of salt. Stir and let the chickpeas fry gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Set aside. 

5. After 25 -30 minutes, check your soup for seasoning, adjusting the salt and adding pepper to your taste. Add 200g spinach leaves, stir and cover with lid for a further 5 minutes, until the spinach has just wilted but it still retains its bright green colour. 

6. Serve your soup with a sprinkling of chickpeas on top, and enjoy!

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