Monday, March 30, 2009

Chickpea Stew

vegan chickpea stew

On Friday night, for about half an hour, I felt like summer was around the corner. I drove my car, windows down, to the Man of Science's office to pick him up after work. I had The Undertones loud on the stereo singing, "Here comes the summer! Here comes the summer!" It seemed possible that the warm weather was coming.

By Sunday it was cold and rainy. The House of Science and the creatures inside it got pretty quiet. There was a lot of reading/sleeping near the fireplace and avoiding the early-spring reality check that was pouring down outside. The Man of Science was feeling a bit under the weather. He requested a warming stew for dinner. I got busy.


Chickpea Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1 cup red lentils
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cumin
1 can diced tomatoes, slightly blended or mashed
2 cups veggie soup stock
1 tbsp sugar
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
salt to taste

Heat olive oil over med-high heat in a large pot and add onion and garlic. Saute until onions are tender, then add celery, red pepper, lentils, and spices. Reduce heat to medium and let cook for three or four minutes, stirring frequently.

Add tomatoes, soup stock, and sugar cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer until lentils are cooked.

Add chickpeas and cilantro, stir and turn heat off. Let sit, covered, for a few minutes and then serve.

Some Notes:

-We ate this with a very fresh Zatar bread from the market near the House of Science, which made for a nice, filling dinner. Any kind of bread would be pretty good, I'm sure.

-I'd been lazily using canned chickpeas for months until last weekend. I can't believe how much better they taste/cheaper they are when I soak them and cook them myself. There were so many left from the 1/2 package I soaked, I ended up making a big batch of hummus, and also freezing two meal-sized portions for future dinners.

-Because Top Chef isn't on right now, I've been watching The Amazing Race. I have to say that I did not like this week's episode at all. The contestants had their photos taken with a chained up tiger at the Phuket Zoo and the tiger's trainer kept hitting it in the face with a big stick. Perhaps this was why the trainer only had one arm. It reminded me of the only Chris Rock joke that has ever stayed with me, "That tiger bit the man in the face and everyone is mad at the tiger. They keep saying, that tiger went crazy! That tiger didn't go crazy! That tiger went tiger!" You can see the joke for yourself in this clip if you skip ahead to about the 1:24 mark.



A_and_N said...

The stew looks lovely! Loved the addition of red lentils :) And yeah, no more top chef...but I've been suffering from March Madness though ;)

T said...

I have that same cutting board!!!

And the stew looks perfect... why are chickpeas so easily adaptable to so many styles of cooking? YUM!

Linnea said...

That's an Ikea cutting board! I have one myself.

Okay, here's a doofus-like question. How do you soak and cook chick-peas? Do you pressure cook them? Because that would be a lot of work (and would involve the cleaning of a pressure cooker after).


Jo Stockton said...

Hi Linnea,

I don't actually have a pressure cooker. I just soak beans and then boil them, which takes a while. That's part of the reason I make so much and then freeze portions.

Chickpeas should soak over night and then be simmered until tender, about 1.5 hours. If you want to have a shorter soak time, you can boil them for about five minutes and then change the water and let them soak for about two hours before cooking.

Good luck! It's more work but so much cheaper and I think the beans taste nicer.


Zoom said...

I made this one tonight and it was delicious. We had it with a salad and a loaf of Ace roasted onion bread. Very yummy - we had seconds, and there are still lots of leftovers left over.