With the weather getting colder, I look forward to a hot, steaming bowl of soup filled with colorful vegetables, warming spices including ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper, and one of my favorite beans, chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans). Chickpeas are an excellent source of protein (about 15 grams in one cup), fiber (about 13 grams), folate, and iron, along with other minerals that assist the body in detoxifying. In addition, the high fiber content of the beans is helpful in keeping blood sugar levels stable and beneficial for improving digestive health.
This recipe also contains kombu, a seaweed that is very mineral rich, especially in iodine, which is vital to thyroid function and can be purchased at your local health food or co-op store. Kombu is sold dried in long strips and is a good addition to add to dried beans when cooking where it adds minerals, tenderizes the beans (helps to reduce flatulence), and contains glutamic acid, a natural flavor enhancer. After the beans are cooked, the kombu can either be discarded or cut into small pieces and added back to the soup.
If you do not have all the different spices, the coriander, allspice, cloves, cardamom, and black pepper can be omitted and replaced with garam masala, an Indian spice blend that contains many of the spices mentioned above. In addition, if you do not like your soups too spicy, you can discard the jalapeno seeds.
Spicy Chickpea Stew
This dish was inspired by the country of Morocco with the amazing variety of spices available there. It’s a wonderful stew to enjoy when the weather gets cold, as the addition of the warming spices help to warm up the body! Use of organic ingredients is preferred.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ jalapeño, minced
1 ½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground cloves
6 cardamom pods, smashed with seeds separated
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups water
4 vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
1 cup dried chickpeas (soaked overnight and drained)
½ strip kombu
½ bunch cilantro, stems removed and chopped, reserved for garnish
In a large soup pot, add coconut oil and heat until warm over medium heat. Add cumin seeds and toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add onions, celery, carrots, and sea salt. Sauté until vegetables are soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeño, and ginger and sauté for another minute.
Add coriander, turmeric, cinnamon stick, allspice, cloves, cardamom seeds, and black pepper and stir to combine.
Add water, chopped tomatoes, chickpeas, and kombu. Stir to combine, place lid on pot and simmer until beans are soft and tender, about 30-45 minutes. Remove kombu strip or cut into small pieces and re-add to soup.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Preparation time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Makes 4 1-cup servings
Copyright 2010, J. Usdavin, Original recipe