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Spring chickpeas: Two ways, one pot

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Spring has officially sprung in Atlanta. And with it, comes a lighter, fresher way of eating inspired by delicious organic and local produce at Atlanta's many CSAs and community farmers markets. Want to find one near you? Check out Georgia Organics for a complete list.

These two recipes are made with one pot and complement each other beautifully. They would be great for the appetizer and soup course of a small dinner party, or as a lighter meal on their own with some hearty crispbread to complete the meal (and the protein). I was actually inspired to create this combo from a recent read, French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano, and the idea of having a light dinner consisting mostly of soup to keep slim and healthy. Of course, you can used canned chickpeas but they're just a little mushier and lack the flavor of cooking them yourself.

So that's enough of a drumroll. Here's to the recipes!

Cooking the Chickpeas

Wash and strain 2 cups of dried chickpeas. Add them to a medium sized pot (at least 3 quarts) along with a 4" piece of dried kombu (a seaweed that adds minerals and helps keep the beans digestible). Add 6 cups of filtered or spring water and let the chickpeas soak for 6 to 8 hours, or overnight. Bring contents to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 2 hours. In the first 30 minutes or so, check in often to adjust heat and use a skimmer or spatula to take off any foam that appears (a large bowl filled with water helps get the foam off the skimmer). Leave lid slightly ajar to help make the beans more digestible. Add small amounts of water to keep it from drying out. When the chickpeas are finished cooking, remove half (about 3 cups) using the skimmer or a slotted spoon to a bowl and set aside.

Ingredients - Spring Chickpea Stew

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 medium black radish (you can sub turnip), diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 4 cups organic low sodium vegetable broth (or filtered water)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 pinch sea salt (to taste)

Directions - Spring Chickpea Stew
Increase heat to medium under the pot with the remaining chickpeas and add the onions with pinch of sea salt. Stir together until onions are soft then add the rest of the vegetables and saute for another 2 minutes or so. Add the low sodium vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a boil. Simmer over very low heat for 30 minutes. Add the parsley, pinch of sea salt, and red pepper flakes (to taste). Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Makes about 5 2-cup servings.

Nutritional Info (per serving) - Spring Chickpea Stew
Calories: 210; Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 500mg; Total Carbs: 40g; Dietary Fiber: 9g; Protein: 9g

Ingredients - Light and Tasty Hummus

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup filtered water, as needed

Directions - Light and Tasty Hummus

While the soup is simmering away, put the strained chickpeas you put aside into a blender or large food processor. Add all the other ingredients and about 1/4 cup water. Blend the ingredients together (this might take a few rounds with a traditional blender, just keep scraping down the sides with a spatula until it's an evenly smooth mixture). Add water as necessary to get to the desired consistency.

If you wish, add olives, capers, or artichoke hearts while blending for extra flavor sensations. Serve room temperature with whole wheat pita wedges, hearty crackers, or crudite.

Makes about 10 1/4 cup servings.

Nutritional Info (per serving) - Light and Tasty Hummus
Calories: 120; Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 250mg; Total Carbs: 17g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Protein: 4g

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