If you all are anything like me (cookbook collectors), you have more cookbooks than you know what to do with. Most of my cookbooks actually sit idle on the shelf as I tend to pull out my favorites time and time again. They do not get jealous, they sit patiently, waiting for their day in the sun. Last year I was browsing the Notre Dame bookstore, I was there for my sister's graduation, and picked up Whole Food by Jude Blereau. It looked really good but ended up as one of those patiently waiting books on my bookshelf. For kicks, I decided to pick it up recently as I was looking for a fun way to use up chickpeas. I came upon this wonderfully flavored stew. I'm not sure why I was so surprised that this recipe was wonderful. After all, something attracted me to this book in the first place, I guess I had just forgotten it with the thrill of finding some other book to distract me. This book deserves to be one of my favorites though. You go book, have your day in the sun and SHINE!
Moroccan Minestrone adapted from Whole Foods by Jude Blereau
1 c. dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 onion, diced
3 celery stalks, finely sliced
2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. turmeric
1 Tbls. chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 c. dried Puy lentils
14 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
3 Tbls. tomato paste
2 quarts chicken stock
Cooked brown rice, to serve
1. If you have a pressure cooker, place the soaked beans in it with enough water to cover. Bring to pressure and cook beans until soft, 30 minutes. If you don't have a pressure cooker, place the beans in a pot with enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil and then lower heat to a simmer and partially cover. Check the beans periodically to make sure they are still covered with water and cook until soft 1-2 hours. You will end up with about 3 c. of cooked beans either way.
2. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Saute the onions and the celery in the olive oil until they are softened and starting to brown. Add the ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and the cilantro and cook, while stirring, for another minute.
3. Add the lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Cook over medium heat for 45-60 minutes until the lentils are soft. Adjust the seasonings.
4. If desired, serve over cooked brown rice.