Posts tagged ‘chickpea’

February 24, 2012

Chickpea, Spinach and Cauliflower Curry

I was craving a hearty vegetarian meal last night, so I decided to tinker with a few chickpea and spinach curry recipes. Both my kids like Indian food (But I want them to like it more!), so I thought this was a good way to get them used to more spices, without setting their lips and tongue on fire. Some of the recipes called for tomatoes, while others relied on a cucumber yogurt accompaniment for acidity. I decided to go with the tomatoes, since I’m a big fan of one-pot meals.

Somewhat to my surprise, the kids loved it. S had three servings and asked for it for lunch today. Everyone agreed it was a dish I should make again. Yay! Simple pleasures.

Unfortunately, I didn’t measure any of the ingredients or spices last night, so I’m not sure I can replicate the dish. I basically kept adding spices until I felt that it had enough flavor. I started by sautéing one large chopped onion with a tablespoon each of minced garlic and ginger. Then I added roughly 2 to 3 teaspoons of ground cumin and ground coriander, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 2 teaspoons curry powder and a fat pinch of salt. What I wish I had was some garam masala. But last night I had to make do without it. Once the spices became fragrant, I added a can of drained chickpeas, florets from a small head of cauliflower, a 16 oz. bag of thawed frozen spinach and 1 to 1 1/2 cups of diced tomatoes. I let it simmer for about 10 – 15 minutes, until all the flavors blended and there was a nice thick consistency. Serve it over rice with a little chopped cilantro over the top.

This is a great recipe when you’re low on fresh produce. All you need is an onion and cauliflower. You could also make it without the cauliflower.

Note to reader and self:  Indian food really does not photograph well.

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November 7, 2011

Tuscan Chickpea Soup

It’s looking like it’s going to be a week of leftovers for lunch. And it’s starting with the Tuscan chickpea soup I made last night.

After we got home from Portugal, I went a little crazy at the grocery store because our refrigerator and pantry were so barren. Now, everything is stuffed to the limit—a good problem to have—but I’m also a bit stressed about cooking all the meats and vegetables before they go bad. My plan is to cook large batches of dinner and send the leftovers for lunch the next day. It really is the easiest solution. That way, I don’t have to think about lunch.

Years and years ago, I found the recipe for a Tuscan chickpea soup in the October 2001 issue of Cooking Light. It is a simple recipe that yields great results. Plus, it freezes really well. I will admit, it’s nothing exciting, but that seems to work well for the kids. The recipe calls for water, but over the years I’ve switched to chicken broth to give the soup a bit more richness. I’ve also doubled the amount of tomatoes to give it more flavor. And because I’m always trying to get more kale into our diets, I like to chop up some kale and throw it into the soup as it simmers. If I’m out of kale, I use baby spinach leaves. Since they wilt pretty quickly in the soup, I add them at the last minute. Lastly, I like to serve the soup with grilled chicken or Trader Joe’s chicken-apple sausage. The sausage comes fully cooked in the refrigerated section. I usually warm it on the grill or in a skillet.

Don’t forget to sprinkle the grated parmesan or pecorino over the soup. It makes a big difference!

Tuscan Chickpea Soup (adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients

2 TB olive oil

2 cups finely chopped onion

8 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 tsp. fresh rosemary or 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

3 (15 1/2 oz.) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans diced tomatoes undrained

Chopped kale (optional)

1 -2 TB balsamic vinegar

6 TB grated fresh Parmesan or Pecorino Romano

Method

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in the broth and the next 6 ingredients (broth through kale, if using), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Place 2 cups in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a bowl. Repeat procedure with 2 cups soup. Return all pureed soup to pan. Stir in the vinegar, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Spoon soup into bowls and sprinkle with grated cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

October 11, 2011

Kale and Chickpea Soup

Yes, I’m on a leftover streak. But it seems silly not to kill two birds with one stone. Last night for dinner I made a kale and chickpea soup with chorizo. In my attempt to give the soup a little more depth, I almost made it too spicy for the kids. I had added more paprika, some cumin and a fat pinch of cayenne. S drank a lot of water with her soup, but I like to tell myself that all those fluids are good for her. In the end, both kids were sopping up the last of their soup with some seedy multigrain bread. This morning, I sent S to school with the soup, some cut-up fruit and a wedge of bread.

Here’s the recipe from Epicurious:

Kale and chickpea soup

Note: I chopped up a few carrots instead of using the potato. And since I couldn’t find cured chorizo sausage, I used pork chorizo instead. Lastly, I used all broth, no water.

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