Spiced Chickpea Soup

This was an absolute triumph! I had a few things lying around the house that I wanted rid of so devised this recipe to make a soup. The resulting dish was divine. A creamy, slightly spicy soup, packed with delicious flavours. It was really one of the nicest things in a while, and really rather simple to boot!

1 red onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
3 tablespoons olive oil
80g speck pork (chopped)
1 x 400g can chickpeas (drained)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon salt
paprika (for garnish)
Extra virgin olive oil (for garnish)

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the onions and garlic and fry gently for 4-5 minutes. Add the speck and cook for a further 5 minutes until the fat is rendered. Add the cumin, coriander, cayenne and fennel powders and stir briefly before adding the chick peas along with 700ml of warm water. Add the salt and a little black pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Place in a blender and blend until very smooth. Strain through a fine sieve then serve hot.

Serve with a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with plenty of crusty bread.

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