Want to make people happy? Serve bowls of this down-home vegetarian stew with swiss chards and chickpeas over grains or couscous for a healthy meal that sticks to the ribs.
Ingredients list for the Swiss Chard Stew with Chickpeas
- 1/2 pound (220g) canned chickpeas, drained
- 1 large onion
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pound (about 1 generous bunch) swiss chards
- 1 large bunch cilantro, chopped (about 1 cup), plus additional for garnish
- 1 lemon (optional)
- Cooked grains or couscous, for serving (optional)
1. In a small skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat, toast coriander and fennel seeds together just until they begin to release their aroma, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer immediately to a spice mill and allow to cool for a few minutes, then grind.
2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large heavy skillet and add chopped onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring often, another 5 minutes, until onion and garlic has softened slightly. Stir into chickpeas. Add ground spices, paprika, cumin, additional salt, tomato paste and return to a simmer. After 2-3 minutes, add the vegetable stock. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
3. Meanwhile, stem and wash swiss chards, keeping a bit of whites. Cut leaves in half down the middle. Stack and roll up several leaves, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch (1cm) strips. You should obtain about 5 cups of chopped chards.
4. Add swiss chards to chickpeas and vegetables and bring back to a simmer, covered for 15-30 minutes, until greens and chickpeas are tender. Stir in cilantro and simmer another 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
5. Ladle into soup bowls. Cut the lemon into quarters. Garnish with chopped cilantro and a drizzle of lemon juice. Serve over rice, bulgur, or couscous.