Chickpeas, as the name suggests, are the cutest of all legumes. Earlier this month we ate tons of chickpeas in Italy (called ceci in Italian, also super cute!) on my yoga retreat at In Sabina. While indulging in delicious hummuses laced with herbs and pureed eggplant, toasted chickpea salads, and even a pasta made from chickpea flour, my student and friend Robin promised to share this recipe with me as “the absolute best thing you can do with a chickpea.” As a Californian with an amazing green thumb, and as a woman who knows a thing or two about good, fresh food, I can’t help but trust and whole-heartedly endorse Robin on this one.
Ms. Robin Penn’s Chickpea Stew
2 c. dry organic chickpeas (aka garbanzos)
1 container Trader Joe’s low sodium vegetable broth
2 or 3 red peppers, cut into thin slices
4 med. size tomatoes, diced
1/4 c. quinoa flakes (a thickening agent found at Whole Foods, must be flakes!)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. cumin or turmeric
1/2 tsp. lemongrass (generous heaping, a must!)
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. onion
Soak beans for 8 hours, drain and rinse. Combine beans, broth, red peppers, tomato, and spices in a large sauce pan, slow heat for at least 30-45 minutes. With a wooden spoon, skim the foam that forms on the stew as it boils. Add quinoa flakes to thicken, stir. Add additional spices to taste (ROBIN NOTE: the broth is already spiced, but I find I always want more). Slow heat for about 1 hour to thicken, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Serve and enjoy.