I’ve served this delicious stew to nonvegetarians who have scraped the bowl. Topped with the luscious coulis, it is quite divine. Add whole grain rolls and a green salad or steamed asparagus, in season.
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 stalks celery, thinly sliced, or 1 bulb fennel, trimmed, cored and thinly sliced on the vertical
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
- ½ tsp (2 mL) cracked black peppercorns
- 8 oz (250 g) cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes, including juice (see Notes)
- 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed, or 1 cup (250 mL) dried chickpeas, soaked, cooked and drained
- 2 roasted red bell peppers (see Notes)
- 3 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
- 10 fresh basil leaves, optional
Works in slow cookers from 3½ to 6 quarts.
1. In a large dry skillet over medium heat, toast cumin seeds, stirring, until fragrant and they just begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer to a mortar or a spice grinder and grind. Set aside.
2. In same skillet, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, turmeric, salt, peppercorns and reserved cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and toss until coated. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
3. Add chickpeas and stir well. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours, until hot and bubbly.
4. Roasted Red Pepper Coulis: In a food processor, combine roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, oil, vinegar, and basil, if using. Process until smooth. Ladle stew into bowls and top with coulis.