Chickpea Stew with Bread and Vegetable Side Dishes

Chickpea Stew with Bread and Vegetable Side Dishes

Sometimes, maybe once a month, I cook a large amount of chickpea. It is a very helpful way to make food that will last for days. In such a case, part of it would be used for making hummus, and I would cook a beautiful vegetable stew with the rest of it. I make a large enough portion of stew so that it can last for two meals. And perhaps, hummus can also be enjoyed for several lunches, or some of it can be stored in the freezer. Even though the texture won’t be completely the same as the fresh one, it can be sometimes very helpful to have something already made in the freezer.

Today’s Menu

  • Chickpea Stew
  • Ratatouille-Caponata (little amount for a try. Recipe here)
  • Cucumber pickles
  • Homemade whole spelt sourdough bread

Soaking and Sprouting

The rich flavor of the cooked chickpea is something very special that no other beans can offer. It also helps us to take enough protein in a healthy and delicious way. Some people might have difficulty with digesting cooked beans. I relate with that problem, and yet, when the beans are soaked well and sprouted, they can be digested in a much gentler way. At least, it has changed my relationship with beans quite much.

I usually soak chickpea for over 24 hours, draining and rising a couple times within that time period. Then I leave them in a large strainer in a bowl with a lid over it, rinsing them every 12 hours or so, and leaving it for at least one day to sprout. Then I cook the beans with the pressure cooker. Therefore, there is some time calculation and planning needed. If I want to make the chickpea dish on a Sunday, for example, I have to start soaking the beans at latest on Friday. A little extra work, and it occupies some space in the kitchen. Sometimes I don’t feel in the mood for it. But once I have made it, I always experience a wonderful reward.

Joy of eating various vegetables in one bowl

I love this stew, because there are many vegetables I can eat at once so deliciously. There is, indeed, some magic in the flavor when all these vegetables are coming together. Today, I chose the following vegetables to cook with the chickpea.

The other day, we got two-and-a-half pounds of organic golden potatoes from my mother-in-law. She got big bag of potatoes and kindly shared them with us. Making stew with other vegetables is one of the great ways for me to use the potatoes. This feels to be a more balanced way to eat potatoes rather than eating a large portion of them baked or mashed, which I would occasionally enjoy because it is indeed delicious. Also, adding potatoes in the stew definitely brings a comforting flavor and texture. They are also compatible with the chickpea.

Onion, garlic, celery, and carrots are the classic ingredients for this stew. They are also the essential ingredients for making vegetable broth. They are the ones that create the wonderful flavor for stew. Thanks to them, you don’t need to add any vegetable broth. 

As we are in the summer season, I was also excited to cook some zucchini together with other ingredients. It is so beautiful how this additional ingredient can make the stew more summer-like and lighter through its color, as well as soft texture.

Use the delicious stock!

The stock you can get through cooking chickpea is so rich in flavor, which is another essential ingredient for the stew besides the beans themselves. When I cook the beans in the pressure cooker, I pour enough water in the pot so that I can get a good amount of stock. Usually, I leave 1/3 of the stock for making hummus and take the rest for the stew. This stock is another reason why you don’t necessarily need additional vegetable stock to make the stew.

Eating with bread as well as grains

This stew can be eaten both with bread and grain so deliciously.

For this dinner, I served the stew with my fresh baked organic whole spelt sourdough bread along with some freshly made ratatouille-caponata to try, as well as cucumber pickles. Since we had a big salad for lunch, I didn’t make another salad. Pickles were an important addition to have some fresh and cooling flavor to bring balance for the entire meal.

The next day, I served the stew with cooked millet, and salad on the side. The soft and comforting flavor and texture of cooked millet went so well with the stew.

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