Sunday, December 6, 2009

Garbanzo Bean Stew

Oh, I have hit the stew recipe jackpot! Exactly what I need on a extraordinarily frustrating day like today where my internet connection and land line have both gone bananas for hours.

You've got to try this recipe. No whining about not liking beans or, in my case, strongly disliking hummus. This stew is thick, tasty, and filling. It probably has some degree of nutritional value too. Granted, the beef broth and the use of kielbasa sausage might not mesh well with a vegetarian lifestyle, but I'm sure there's a way around that. You'll have to come up with that on your own.

An easy recipe to make but a word of caution before you start: if you plan to follow the slow cookier method, know or measure to know the volume that your slow cooker holds before you start. Ah, fool me once, potato soup recipe, but not this time. I've long lost the papers that came with my slow cooker, but it's not big enough for what's suggested for this recipe, according to Google. So I followed the stovetop method way down at the bottom. In the end, it worked out well because I've got another recipe currently bubbling away in my slow cooker. I'll post it when it's done in a few hours.

As usual, I left out the gross peppers from this recipe. I may have convinced myself to use onion at last, but I still hate peppers so they're a no go. I used 1/4 tsp of squeeze-tube basil instead of the dried amount, I left out the salt at the bottom because things like broth are salty enough, and my tomato paste was a "herb and spice" version. I found it at the grocery store next to the plain, boring kind that I already had (I needed more for my other recipe) so I figured I'd try the jazzy kind to add a little more flavour.

I was a little nervous about adding the hummus at the end. First of all, although I love chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and garlic, I dislike hummus. Weird, because it's basically those two ingredients smashed up together, but I stand by my palate. I wasn't really sure how it would taste in a stew recipe because my only experience with hummus so far has been as a vegetable dip that I skip past. But I trusted the recipe gods enough to add it (I bought regular hummus although there were some pretty fancy versions available), and although the stew smells a bit strange, it's quite flavourful and the hummus is barely noticeable. So go ahead and chuck yours in. Just make sure to stir it in well so the flavour can be absorbed while it simmers.

With all those high-in-fibre beans in there, your GI tract is sure to thank you later although your friends and family may disappear for a while. Dig in but don't say I didn't warn you....

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