MEDITER­RANEAN CHICK­PEA STEW

Hands-on time: 15 min­utes To­tal time: 15 min­utes Makes: 6 serv­ings

Canadian Living Comfort Food - - Soups & Stews -

You can make a veg­e­tar­ian ver­sion of this hearty soup by omit­ting the ba­con, sautéing the veg­gies in olive oil in­stead of the ba­con fat and sub­sti­tut­ing veg­etable broth for the chicken broth. Use the bot­tom of a heavy saucepan to crush the fen­nel seeds. If you don’t have fresh spinach, you can use half of a 300-gram pack­age of frozen spinach; just be sure to thaw and drain it well be­fore stir­ring it into the soup.

3 strips ba­con, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 pkg (227 g) crem­ini mush­rooms,

quar­tered

2 ribs cel­ery, chopped

2 cloves gar­lic, finely grated or

pressed

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp dried sa­vory

¼ tsp dried fen­nel seeds, crushed

1 can (796 ml) whole toma­toes,

crushed by hand

2 cups sodium-re­duced chicken broth

1 can (540 ml) chick­peas, drained

and rinsed

½ tsp each salt and pep­per

4 cups baby spinach

1 tbsp lemon juice

¼ cup 2% plain yo­gurt

quar­ter baguette, cut in 6 pieces (op­tional)

In Dutch oven or large heavy-bot­tomed saucepan, cook ba­con over medium heat, stir­ring of­ten, un­til crisp, about 4 min­utes. Us­ing slot­ted spoon, trans­fer to pa­per towel–lined plate to drain. Set aside.

Drain all but 1 tbsp fat from pan; cook onion, mush­rooms and cel­ery over medium heat, stir­ring, un­til soft­ened, about 5 min­utes. Add gar­lic, tomato paste, sa­vory and fen­nel seeds; cook, stir­ring, for 1 minute. Stir in toma­toes and broth; bring to boil. Re­duce heat and sim­mer for 2 min­utes. Stir in chick­peas, salt and pep­per; cook un­til heated through. Re­move from heat; stir in spinach and lemon juice.

Di­vide stew among serv­ing bowls; dol­lop with yo­gurt. Sprin­kle with ba­con. Serve with baguette (if us­ing).

PER SERV­ING: about 189 cal, 11 g pro, 6 g to­tal fat (2 g sat. fat), 26 g carb (7 g di­etary fi­bre, 9 g sugar), 9 mg chol, 844 mg sodium, 784 mg potas­sium. % RD I: 14% cal­cium, 24% iron, 31% vit A, 42% vit C, 36% fo­late.

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