It’s officially soup season and soup is where your electric pressure cooker becomes indispensable, especially with soups that contain dried beans, like this one. To make this on the stove would take twice as long with dried chickpeas and ain’t nobody got time for that. I know I am the Instant Pot lady but lately, I have using my Breville Fast Slow Pro in the kitchen and I am loving it again. The brand of electric pressure cooker you have in your kitchen is the best kind of pressure cooker - they all cook the same, timing doesn't change although sometime the functions have different names - your saute feature might not be called saute, older Instant Pots have a manual button and the newer ones have a pressure cook button in it's place but it's the same thing.
This is a really lovely flavour with the warmth of the cinnamon and the heat of the harissa finished off with the brightness of the fresh herbs and lemon juice. North American cuisine rarely uses spices like cinnamon in savoury dishes but it’s quite common in Moroccan food but trust me, it’s a delight. Besides the fact that it's delicious, it's soooo easy. You just prep your ingredients, throw them all in the pressure cooker and cook it. That's it.
It’s up to you how much harissa, a fiery North African pepper paste, that you add to the soup. If you have eaters who are a bit wimpy when it comes to heat, just use a tsp in the soup and offer extra to everyone when you serve it. I am also adding an option to add some red lentils which doesn't really affect the flavour but it thickens it up a bit to make it even heartier.
Pressure Cooker Moroccan Chickpea Soup
2 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 cup *dried chickpeas, pre-soaked or 1 can chickpeas
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 or 3 ribs of celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp harissa paste or to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 80g of parsley (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
About 80g cilantro (about 1 1/2 cups chopped)
6 cups of broth - chicken or vegetable
1 796 ml or 28g can of plum tomatoes, crushed with your fingers
**optional - 1/2 cup of red lentils - add if you want your soup to be a thicker and heartier
4-6 cubes of frozen spinach or a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
Another handful of both parsley and cilantro for serving
Extra harissa for serving
*to do a quick pre-soak dried chickpeas, cover 1 cup chickpeas with 4 cups water and 1 tsp kosher salt in your pressure cooker. Bring to a boil using the sauté feature, close the lid and cook for 2 minutes at high pressure. Do a careful release of pressure by testing it to make sure you don’t get foam spewing out and when you are sure that you are good to go, release the pressure.
Drain and rinse the chickpeas and dump the water. Set them aside.
OR pre-soak overnight in water, old school.
OR use canned, drained chickpeas (19oz or 540ml)
Throw the everything up to the lemons and spinach in the pot of your electric pressure cooker. Program your pressure cooker for 20 minutes at high pressure. If you use canned chickpeas, program your soup for about 12 minutes.
When the time is up, give it about 5 minutes NPR before releasing the rest of the pressure. Open the lid, squeeze in the juice from the two lemons and throw in the frozen or fresh spinach and put the lid back on and keep warm for about ten minutes to let the spinach defrost and heat up OR the fresh spinach to wilt into the soup.
Serve with extra chopped parsley and cilantro and offer everyone more harissa if they want it spicier