How do you eat your chickpeas? Most likely it’s in hummus. If you’re really fancy, you might roast them with a little curry or chili powder. But aside from that, really when do you have chickpeas as a feature ingredient of a meal? I keep dried chickpeas in my collection of mason jar beans and dried goods ingredients, but I rarely use them. Sometimes I’ll make hummus, or toss them in with some white beans or as part of a multi-bean chili. My black beans come and go, refilling the quart sized jar every other month or so, and the kidney and white beans go almost as quickly. But those poor wrinkly chickpeas just sit there. So in an effort to highlight this special ingredient (and avoid a trip to the store for different ingredients, I embarked on a dish to make chickpeas shine.
I know the weather’s starting to warm up but near the end of winter, I get in as many soup and stew days as possible. Once the spring and summer hit, my cravings will turn from warm homey dishes to fresh, light dishes like salads, sushi and grilled veggies. I went with the basics–root veggies, canned tomatoes, rich greens and a tad of spice. I had seen a number of chickpea recipes with garam masala. because it’s a spice I use far too infrequently, I figured, let’s toss that in too. Toss that all in a crockpot, set it, come home after work and you have a hearty meal all ready to devour.
Winter Chickpea Stew (Serves 8)
- 2 c dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 20oz can whole tomatoes, juices reserved
- dash of red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you’re feeling)
- 1 tsp garam masala
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bunch kale, thinly sliced
Drain chickpeas and dump into slow cooker. Add carrots, celery, parsnip and garlic. Mix well. Add whole tomatoes, one by one, crushing them with your hand. Add remaining juices plus water to make 1 cup of liquid.
Add red pepper and garam masala and mix well. Cover and set your slow cooker to 10 hours on low. Note: you want to add the salt (and pepper) AFTER the stew is cooked. Salt often slows the beans from cooking, resulting in crunchy, rather than soft chickpeas.
Season stew with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in sliced kale and cook for an additional 30 minutes on high or until kale is tender.
Serve with a hearty slice of bread and enjoy!