Fast Chickpea Stew

Hey!  Remember that one time when I started a soup blog?  And I made a couple of posts and then disappeared for about 5 months?  Let me tell you “the rest of the story:”  I got pregnant and that little baby made me so sick from April to June that I really wasn’t doing any eating at all, let alone cooking.  Good news: little baby boy keeps growing, and I’m back cooking!

This was dinner tonight — I was looking for something fast but healthful, hearty and appropriate for autumn weather, and something that would provide us with leftovers for a few lunches.  I googled “white bean stew” and came up with this recipe, which I figured I could trust since I subscribe to the Smitten Kitchen feed anyway.  She recommended a few changes, and I made a few changes of my own, beginning with the fact that I realized once the garlic was cooking that I didn’t have any cans of white beans in my cupboard.

JR really liked this, and I think I did, too.  I had him pour himself a glass of red wine, since it struck me as a perfect red wine meal.  I eagerly await the day when I can have red wine with my chickpea stew, too.  In the meantime, I’ll settle for some perfectly-grilled toast, good company and a healthy baby boy.

Fast Chickpea Stew

1/4 c. + 2 T. olive oil

2 large cloves garlic

3 chicken sausages (I used Aidell’s sundried tomato something-or-other), cut in half length-wise and sliced

1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted tomatoes

2 c. chicken broth

2 cans chickpeas (or white beans), drained and rinsed

generous sprinkle of  basil

generous sprinkle of paprika

generous sprinkle of chili flakes

coupla-grinds of black pepper

5 oz. spinach, roughly chopped

hearty bread, sliced

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat up 1/4 c. oil (or maybe a little less) over medium-high heat and saute the garlic until it is soft.  Add sausage and saute until most of it is browned.  Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, chickpeas and spices.  Simmer over low/medium-low heat around 30 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, brush the 2T.  olive oil over slices of bread.  Broil 3-4 inches away from the heating elements until the bread is browned.

About 2-3 minutes before serving, add the spinach to the soup and let cook until spinach is soft.