MEDITERRANEAN CHICKPEA STEW
Hands-on time: 15 minutes Total time: 15 minutes Makes: 6 servings
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,
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely grated or
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
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.