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Monday, October 10, 2011

Chickpea and Cilantro Stew with Cumin Croutes

Two cumin croutes in bowl
Stew over the "crusts"
Stew with avocado and cilantro garnish

I found this recipe when I found the Turkish Lentil Soup, which I really liked.  I didn't try this recipe until after I had made the Moroccan Chickpea Chili.  The cumin croutes (which means crust in French)  was part of the reason I delayed making it.  But I think those really MAKE this recipe.  I used a sourdough baguette and made 2 each plus extras for any leftovers.  So I needed more oil and cumin mix, too.  If you don't care much for cumin, you may want to reduce the amount or omit it.  It is pretty strong, but I love cumin.
The lemon rind and juice really perk up the flavor so it is very lemony.  You may want to start with just 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.

I used a stick blender to process the stew just briefly. 

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 1/2-inch slices Italian or French bread --  (1 per serving)
   *      *      *     *     *
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion -- chopped
4 garlic cloves -- finely chopped
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cans 16 ounce canned chickpeas -- rinsed
1 cup packed cilantro sprigs
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (about 1 lemon)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)

1 1/2 cups chopped seeded fresh tomatoes or 1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper -- to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. To make the croutes, stir together the 4 teaspoons
of olive oil with the cumin in a small bowl. Brush the flavored oil lightly over
both sides of the bread slices and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake in the
preheated oven for about 10 minutes, turning once, until toasted on both sides.
Set aside.

2. Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven.
Add the onion and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened,
about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the
broth and chickpeas and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low
and cook, covered, for 20 minutes to blend the flavors.

3. In a blender or food processor, process about half of the chickpea and broth
mixture with 1/2 C cilantro, lemon juice and lemon peel to make a smooth puree.

4. Return the pureed mixture to the pan with the remaining whole chickpeas and
reheat gently, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and simmer until
just heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately so that the colors remain bright.

5. Place the cumin croutes in shallow soup bowls or on rimmed plates and spoon
the stew over them.

You may garnish with cubed avocados and cilantro.

 American Medical Association Family Cookbook
, 1997 by Melanie Barnard and Brooke Dojny, et al

Nutrition:  453 cals, 116 cals from fat, 13g total fat, 2g
sat fat, 0mg chol, 978mg sodium, 69g total carbs, 13g fiber, 18g prot

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