SOAK THE GARBANZOS overnight in 6 cups of the water in a large heavy kettle. Next day, add the remaining 2 cups water, bring to a gentle boil, cover, and cook 4-to-5 hours or until the garbanzos are very tender. Meanwhile, stir-fry the garlic and onions in the peanut oil in a second large, heavy kettle over moderate heat for 12-to-15 minutes until lightly browned. Add the potatoes and stir-fry 2-to-3 minutes; add the thyme, coriander, and bay leaf, turn the heat down low, and allow to mellow about 10 minutes. Pour in the broth, bring all to a gentle simmer, cover and cook slowly.
As soon as you've set the 2 kettles to simmer, stir-fry the pepperoni in a large heavy skillet 3-to-5 minutes--just until lightly browned and most of the drippings have cooked out. Drain the pepperoni well, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Set aside. Return 1 tablespoon drippings to the skillet, add the spinach and stir-fry 2-to-3 minutes over moderate heat just until glazed and intensely green; reserve. When the garbanzos are tender, puree 1/2 of them by buzzing 60 seconds in a food processor, adding only enough kettle liquid to puree them easily.
Return the pureed garbanzos to the kettle in which they cooked. Now puree the potato mixture in 2 batches, buzzing each 30-to-40 seconds in a food processor. Blend the potato mixture into the garbanzo mixture, add the reserved pepperoni and spinach, cover, and simmer 30-to-40 minutes--just long enough to mellow the flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove the bay leaf, then smooth in the olive oil. Makes 6 to 8 Servings --