Indian spices provide an intensely flavorful and savory broth for the chickpeas. Fresh spinach is added at the end to keep the color as vibrantly green as possible. Turn this soup into a meal with a side of toasty french bread.
Toast the whole cumin and coriander seeds in a small dry skillet until very fragrant over medium low heat, 7 minutes. Grind in a spice grinder.
In a soup pot (I like to use a dutch oven) warm the ghee over low medium heat and sweat the onion for 5 minutes until translucent. Stir occasionally to prevent browning.
Stir in the garlic cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add toasted spices and all powdered spices -- salt, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika, and curry powder. Stir to coat the onions, cook for 2 minutes.
Marrying the Liquids with the Chickpeas
Add the tomato sauce and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the vegetable stock, coconut milk, and canned/cooked chickpeas. Raise heat and simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach and celery and cook just until wilted, 1 minute.
Turn off the heat and adjust seasoning with salt. Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Time permitting, chickpeas made in a pressure cooker are ideal for their texture. For this recipe, I add 2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight with a 2-inch piece of seaweed called kombu into a large pressure cooker. Cover chickpeas under 2-inches of water, bring to pressure, then continue to cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Proceed with recipe in place of canned chickpeas.