Chickpea and Tomato Stew

This time of year I crave nothing more than a warm and satisfying bowl of soup for dinner. This hearty stew is a great way to brighten up a cold winter evening. With minimal preparation, you can make a delicious and hearty meal for your family in no time at all. The slow cooker does most of the work, so all you have to do is toss it in and turn it on. After a few hours of slow cooking, you’re ready to dig in!  You can adjust the spiciness of this stew by adjusting the amount of serrano peppers you use. If you want a really hot three-alarm stew, leave the seeds and membranes in the peppers. If you prefer a milder stew, seed the peppers or use less of them. Serve with fresh garlic naan or crusty bread for a simple, weeknight friendly meal!

Chickpea and Tomato Stew with Cilantro-Lime Yogurt Sauce

Yield: 8 servings (14 cups)

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 4-5 hours (high) or 5-6 (low)

Total Time: 6 hours and 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Stew:
1 pound dried chickpeas (about 2 1/3 cups), picked over and rinsed
6 cups water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the Saute:
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups diced onion
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1-2 serrano chilies. seeded and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice

For the Yogurt Sauce:
1 1/2 cups plain Greek-Style yogurt
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon minced lime zest
2 tablespoons lime juice

Directions:

In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, combine chickpeas, water and baking soda. Cover and cook until chickpeas are tender on high setting, 3-4 hours or on low setting, 4 to 5 hours. Drain and rinse chickpeas; return to slow cooker.
Heat canola oil until shimmering in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until softened and browned. Add tomato paste, serrano, ginger, garlic, garam masala, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt and pepper; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, scraping up browned bits. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes (including their juice). Cover and cook for 1 hour more.
To make the yogurt sauce, combine yogurt, 1/2 cup cilantro, zest and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve stew with sauce and garnish with extra cilantro.

Recipe Note: Once the chickpeas are tender, drain and rinse them. Discard the cooking water before adding the tomatoes and onion mixture.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 361, total Fat: 8g (1 g sat), chol: 3mg, sodium: 749mg, carbs: 57g, fiber: 15g, protein: 19g

Source: Cuisine at Home, February 2013

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