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Chickpea & Sweet Potato Soup (Ethiopian-inspired)

Just gonna put a quickie out today.  I seem to have fallen behind in so many things over the past couple of weeks.  Visiting, commenting, organizing, thinking!  That's me...yes woman.  Has a hard time turning things down.  Figure I can fit it in somewhere...I can do it all!  Maybe if I try real hard.  Maybe if the day would have at least 8 more hours in which to accomplish the various tings on my list...some of which I've surely already forgotten.  One thing that's been on that list for the past month is cooking up something Ethiopian.  One. Whole. Month.  That's how long I've been sitting on this...pondering.  My dish ended up more Ethiopian-inspired (flavors) than authentic Ethiopian, I think...  Ahhh.  And I really wanted to make some Injera bread to go with it.  That was really my main goal.  BUT, my former omelette pan-slash-crepe pan is s-h-o-t SHOT.  Why?  Because even though I swore when I bought it that I would ONLY use it for omelettes, crepes, or fried of course got used for many other things.  Sticky things, scrapey things, smooth-nonstick, easy-flip surface-ruining things!  Soooo, instead I bring you a simple soup-ish (was going for a stew...sigh) Ethiopian-inspired dish...

Ethiopian-inspired Chickpea & Sweet Potato Soup
from the kitchen of girlichef

olive oil
~3 c. chickpeas (~1/2 lb. before cooking)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1" pc. of ginger, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, peel & pureéd
4 c. vegetable broth (or any bone broth if not vegetarian)
2 lg. sweet potatoes, peel & diced
~2 Tbs. Berbere (an Ethiopian Spice mix, recipe below)

Toss the drained chickpeas with a bit of olive oil and spread on a parchment lined sheet tray.  Cook in a 450 degree F oven for ~30 mins., stirring once, until the chickpeas are very dry and golden.

Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a med-large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the garlic, onion, and ginger and stir until soft and fragrant.  Add the Berbere and stir for a minute or so to release the oils in the spices.  Add bell pepper and pureéd tomatoes, cook another couple minutes.  Add roasted chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and broth.  Stir, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover partially and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender.  Check seasoning and season w/ salt & pepper if necessary.  If stewy enough, serve over Injera bread...or simply eat from a can always dip some flat bread.

Berbere Spice
adapted from several recipes I found around the net

2 tsp. cumin seeds whole
7 ea. cloves, whole
3/4 tsp. cardamom seeds
1/2 tsp. black peppercorns, whole
3 ea.. allspice berries, whole
1 tsp. fenugreek
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds, whole
10 small dried red chiles, stemmed
3/4 tsp. dried ginger 
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. sea salt
2 1/2 Tbs. mild paprika
1/8 tsp. cinnamon

In small pan, on a low heat, toast cumin, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, allspice, and corainder for ~2 minutes, shaking constantly.  Let cool slightly.  In a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle, finely grind together the toasted spices and chilies.  Store in airtight container.

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MLLA was started by Susan at Well Seasoned Cook.