Italian Chickpea Stew

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By Pamela Morgan, Founder Flirting with Flavors

Italian Chickpea Stew

Recently I have started cooking and experimenting more with healthy vegetarian food.  I love learning new recipes and decided that after my detox last year that I would eat vegetarian for at least 2 meals a day and sometimes 3 meals.  This is called a Flexitarian Diet because I am still eating chicken, fish and some grassfed beef although much less of it than before.   And I still get a hankering for BBQ ribs every once in awhile. I am from Texas after all.   The Flexitarian Diet is a way to stay healthier and prevent disease. I am taking an online plant certification cooking course called Rouxbe.  This recipe was inspired by my course.

I have always loved chickpeas There are many names for these small beige beans that many call Garbanzo beans.  They are a staple in Middle Eastern cooking and your favorite hummus is made from chickpeas.   Chickpeas can be bought dried, or in cans. They are so healthy for you!

The intake of 2 cups is equal to an entire daily value of FIBER! They can lower your blood sugar and can help you with digestive problems. Here is a hearty Italian chickpea stew.  This recipe is perfect for a winter day, or to make for daily lunch’s. Instead of sitting at your office thinking about which takeout menu place looks better, make this on a Sunday night and bulk it up for the whole week. It’s easy to add protein to this recipe, and work with different side grains. Delicious, healthy, easy, and comforting – A MUST TRY!

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Prep Time: 30m; Cook Time: 1h 15m; Total Time: 1h 45m

Serves: 6 people

Italian Chickpea StewIngredients

Stew

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cans (15oz) chickpeas, drained
  • 4 cups onions, diced
  • 2 1/2 cups plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup leek, diced
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled, and diced
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated
  • 1 cup porcini mushroom liquid
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chopped mixed olives, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, ground in mortar pestle
  • 2 cups fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
  • 2 sprigs oregano, chopped

Italian Couscous

  • 1 cup Italian Couscous
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons parsley roughly, chopped

Instructions

Stew

  • Start off by cooking the onions in the extra virgin olive oil, on low heat, until translucent and have reached a golden color.
  • Add leeks, fennel, carrots, and garlic and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Add the tomato paste, and crushed fennel seeds and stir for 2 minutes until the vegetables are covered with the tomato paste
  • Add wine and let it cook on high heat until you start seeing a glaze on the vegetables about 5 minutes
  • Add the remaining vegetables porcini mushroom, tomatoes, chickpeas and mushroom liquid, and the herbs & spices rosemary, oregano and red pepper flakes
  • Taste and adjust seasoning
  • Stir everything together and let it simmer on medium heat for 45 minutes
  • Finish with olives and capers
  • Make sure you adjust the seasoning if needed.
  • Garnish with fresh basil

Italian Couscous

  • In a medium size pot, add vegetable stock and a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer
  • Throw the Italian couscous in and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed about 15-17 minutes
  • Take off the heat and fold in extra virgin olive oil, and parsley
  • Serve the chickpea stew on a bed of couscous. With a side of red wine this would be a perfect supper.

Recipes: Cioppino – Italian Seafood Stew  Cookbook author and entertaining expert, Pamela Morgan is the owner of NYC based Flirting with Flavors, where she offers exclusive cooking parties, inspirational seminars and special events. She is highly regarded as a special event planner, culinary consultant, cookbook author, and is a food & entertaining editor for Hamptons’s Cottages and Gardens.   Pamela sees food as a flirtation: sexy, provocative, and a little mysterious. Her desire is to teach you how to flirt your way into a full on passion for cooking and entertaining! Visit her web site for recipes, entertaining inspiration and much more.


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