As the weather keeps its chill button turned on full throttle, I’ve been dreaming about hearty soups. Spicy Smashed Chickpea Stew really does the trick. It is a filling one pot meal that has a surprisingly developed combination of spices and a bit of kick to it. At first bite this stew brings on thoughts of far away travels. I’ve made it a few times and found that even for those picky customers it garners their stamp of approval. The best part about it is that this can even be a pantry meal if you are in a hurry (which I often am during the week). It can also be easily be adapted to include chicken or to become vegan/dairy free by eliminating the yogurt.
Spicy Smashed Chickpea Stew
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp cumin, ground
3/4 tsp smoked paprika, ground
pinch of cinnamon, ground
2 tsps grated lemon zest
salt and black pepper to taste
3 (14.5 oz) chickpeas, 2 drained and 1 in reserved liquid
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes (tomatoes in Italian Seasoning is fine to use too)
4 TBS fresh Italian Parsley, finely chopped for garnish
juice of one lemon
Greek yogurt, for garnish (optional)
wheat pita bread or wheat pita chips (optional)
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the onions and cook approximately 4-5 minutes until translucent. Then add the garlic; and cook for a few minutes, stirring regularly, until soft but not browned. Stir in the cinnamon, cumin, paprika, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and the liquid from one can along with the vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add in tomatoes and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
Using a potato masher, or the back of a fork, lightly crush the chickpeas in the pot. At this point the stew can simmer on low with a lid until ready to serve. When serving, garnish with yogurt and parsley.
Note: To thicken up the stew simply simmer without the lid on the pot, but keep careful watch that the liquid does not evaporate too much.
I made homemade wheat pita bread to go along with this meal but that’s a recipe for another day. The store bought variety, without preservatives, is also very good either fresh or cut into wedges, toasted a few minutes and served as pita chips.