The evenings and mornings are getting cooler around here, and you know what that means, don’t you? Fall is coming! And fall means comfort food. I crave it. I need it!
This stew combines two of my favorite things to use in the kitchen--chickpeas and pumpkin. It’s got a slight curry influence, along with some saffron and other warming spices. It’s also creamy from the additions of Greek yogurt and egg yolks.
My husband, who is the sweetest boy in the world, likes to buy me things that I love. One of those things happens to be cookbooks. He knows just what I like in a cookbook, too. A few weeks ago, he picked up Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day. I’m in love with this book! I have a ton of sticky notes poking out on the pages with recipes on my “to try” list. If you’d like, head over to Heidi’s blog, 101 Cookbooks to get an idea of her cooking style. It’s a beautiful blog, filled with food you’ll just be aching to make and share with family and friends. I find her recipes to be very nurturing. These are things you’ll always feel good about serving to those you love. Go. And while you’re there, check out the Magic Sauce recipe. I mean, really--aren’t you imagining all of the things you could put it on? I am!
One of the recipes I decided to try right away involved chickpeas. It’s for wraps--which isn’t the recipe in this post. I realized I had forgotten a couple things for the wraps, so went to another chickpea recipe that I’d bookmarked--Chickpea Stew. I had everything on hand to make it! You’ll notice as you go through the book, that if you’ve got a fairly decently stocked pantry, you’ll be able to whip up a fabulous meal in just a short time. A meal full of wholesome ingredients!
I made the stew, and although it was simple, very good, and nice and creamy, it wasn’t very thick. More like a soup than a stew. Since I was craving a hearty, thick stew, I thought about what to use to thicken it. What could be better for a chilly evening than pumpkin? So I stirred some of that in. Then I figured since I was adding pumpkin, I may as well add some warming spices, too. Why not?
The following recipe is what I came up with. It’s thick and rich, and so comforting! It truly warms you up inside and fills your belly nicely. I serve it over Jasmine rice, which is my favorite. I hope you’ll give this a try when it’s cold outside and you want a warm meal!
Spiced Pumpkin Chickpea Stew
Adapted from Super Natural Every Day
Serves 4-6 people
2 large leeks, white parts only, sliced lengthwise and rinsed. Then, slice thinly across.
3 garlic cloves, minced
pinch of salt
fresh cracked black pepper
2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 cups broth (Use what you like-all veg, all chicken, half veg and half chicken-up to you!)
3 egg yolks
2 pinches saffron (Use about 1/2 tsp turmeric if you don't have saffron.)
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree (plain, not pumpkin pie filling!)
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp adobo powder
pinch or two of cayenne
1-2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup half and half, cream, or milk
Jasmine rice, cooked and set aside to keep warm
cilantro, chopped, for sprinkling over
Heat a soup or stock pot over medium heat. Heat some olive oil in the pan and, when hot, sauté the leeks and garlic. You want the leeks to soften up, but be careful not to burn the garlic. If the pan seems too hot, lower the heat a bit.
While that's cooking, take a medium bowl and whisk the egg yolks and saffron together, then add the yogurt. Set aside.
Once the leeks are soft, stir in the chickpeas and broth. Raise the heat so you get a nice gentle simmer going. Using a ladle, take about a cup of the broth from the pot and slowly whisk it into the egg/yogurt mixture. Stir constantly. When that's all blended together, whisk it back into the pot of stew.
Stir in the pumpkin, all of the spices, the honey and the half and half. Simmer gently for 5-10 minutes, then remove from heat or keep warm on low.
Add some rice to each serving bowl, then top with some of the stew. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.
- This is super hearty, but if you’d like to add even more to it, I think tiny diced potatoes and/or carrots might be nice in this--just sauté them with the leeks and garlic. I guess you could add almost any vegetable you wanted to, really.
- The cayenne makes this nice and warming. If you want it hotter, add more than a couple pinches. Want none at all? Leave it out altogether.
- The original recipe calls for one large onion. I didn’t have an onion, but I had leeks on hand, so I went ahead and made the substitution. If you don’t have leeks, you can go ahead and use the onion, diced.
- I’d love this with some toasted, buttered naan or other flatbread. Wish I’d thought of that before!