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OK, listen up. I should call this “garbage soup” because I made it primarily to use my home cooked garbanzo beans that have been sitting in my freezer for a while along with a few things I found in my fridge: some extra recently made chicken broth, a few dried lentils, some sprigs of cilantro, an almost dead lemon, and some not-so-fresh celery.
It was one of those days, a day to pencil out my meals for next week and clean out the fridge, and suddenly I decided to do a riff on a vegetarian Moroccan soup we had the night before Thanksgiving. At that time my sisters made a humongous pot of soup so I pared it down a lot, added a lot more stuff (i.e. green beans, cumin, cinnamon, capellini pasta) …you get my drift. My final recipe here barely resembles the soup they made. But I must say, it is delicious.
Along the way I tried, really I did, to document how much of each ingredient I used. This “recipe” is pretty close to what I made but you’ll have to taste and add this or that if you want it perfect for your taste buds.
I am so happy with this that I immediately scarfed down a large bowl midway through the afternoon. I’m satisfied and full, and I’ll make this again. It kind of screams blustery winter and takes just one pot and about 45 minutes, start to finish. Most of that time is hands-off, too.
Chickpea Lentil Stew
- ½ large brown onion, diced ¼ inch
- 1 celery rib, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 dashes of ground cinnamon
- About 10 grinds of fresh black pepper
- 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (I use Muir Glen Organic)
- 1 ½ c cooked garbanzo beans (equal to about 1 can if you don’t have fresh). If you use canned beans, rinse and drain them. If you make a batch of chickpeas, I used about ½ cup of the liquid from cooking them. It tastes so good!
- ½ cup dried brown lentils
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, leaves, and stems
- ⅓ cup capellini noodles, broken into 1-inch pieces
- About ½ cup fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- Juice of ½-1 lemon
- Parsley or more chopped cilantro to garnish
Over medium heat, warm the oil in a large saucepan, saute the onion and celery gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the cumin, cinnamon, and pepper and stir into the mixture for another minute.
Turn up the heat, then add four cups of stock, tomatoes, garbanzo beans and lentils
Simmer for about a half hour until the lentils are soft.
Throw in green beans, capellini bits and lemon juice, cook for a further two minutes.
Remove from the heat and let it stand for at least ten minutes to finish cooking the green beans and noodles. The stew is quite thick so add more water or broth if you prefer it thinner.
Season to taste with additional salt, pepper or lemon juice, then top with chopped parsley or cilantro to serve.
Serve with pita bread or crackers.