International Selections Artisan Recipe - January 2013

By their own admission, Portuguese are soup-crazy. This is a simple soup, a puree of chickpeas and potatoes joined with a batch of fresh wilted spinach and a dash of olive oil. Easy to make, and oh, so good. A bowl of sopa de grão com espinafres (chickpea and spinach soup) and a chunk of crusty bread with this month's wines from Portugal makes a light meatless dinner.(Recipe courtesy of Robin Garr, wineloverspage.com)

 Sopa de Grao com Espinifres
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Sopa de Grão com Espinifres

Ingredients:

• 20-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

• 2 small baking or boiling potatoes
• 
2 cups water

• 1/2 medium yellow or white onion
• 
2 cloves garlic

• 1 Bay leaf
• 
1/2 tsp salt
• 1 bunch fresh spinach

• 1 Tbsp good quality olive oil


Preparation:
Open the can of chickpeas and rinse to remove the canning liquid. (If you prefer, you can use dried chickpeas, soaking and cooking them before use). Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Put the chickpeas and potatoes in a soup pot with the water.

Peel the onion and cut it into chunks. Peel and smash the garlic. Put the onions and garlic in the soup pot, add the Bay leaf and the salt, and bring it to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or so or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Take out and discard the Bay leaf and, using a slotted spoon, lift out and reserve about a dozen of the chickpeas. Using a stick or stand blender, blend the rest into a smooth puree and return it to the pan and heat on low. Put in the fresh, carefully washed spinach and the olive oil, cover, and cook just until the spinach wilts down. Add the reserved chickpeas as garnish, and serve with crusty bread.

Pair this recipe with this month's International Selections featuring:
• Odisseia Wines Douro Valley, DOC 2008 Red
• Odisseia Wines Douro Valley, DOC 2010 White

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Bonus Recipe

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012