Emeril Lagasse makes this soup with dried chickpeas, which need to soak overnight, so plan accordingly. Warming Soup RecipesPlus: More Soup Recipes and Tips
In a large saucepan, cover the chickpeas with 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat until the chickpeas are tender, about 1 hour; drain.
Wipe out the saucepan used to cook the chickpeas and add 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves and crushed red pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the chickpeas and cook over moderate heat until very tender, about 10 minutes. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
In a blender, puree the soup in batches until smooth or puree it using an immersion blender. Season with salt. Serve in soup plates; drizzle with olive oil.
The soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. When reheating it, thin with water if necessary.