Chickpea and Vegetable Stew with Couscous

chickpeas zucchini, carrots, onions and tomatoesveggie stew couscous

Lately I’ve been trying to use the food that I have in the fridge and the pantry, trying to avoid my numerous trips to the grocery store. I’ve realized that the majority of money spent in our household is at the grocery store, part of that is the rising cost of food in this country, the other part is from boredom and the fact that I really enjoy the grocery store. There is more to it, when we were living in Rome I would usually visit our local supermarket daily to insure that our vegetables, our meat and fish and our bread was fresh. This is common in Europe, especially Italy, partly because freshness is key, fridge’s are smaller, and many people walk their groceries home and don’t load them into the trunk of their car. The cost of food is also considerably less than it is here, for beautiful, fresh, real food.

My other bad habit is buying my vegetables in abundance at the farmers market, which I am happy about, but I don’t always get to them, which I am not happy about, we’ve had to throw some wonderful things away due to my neglect. For some reason I haven’t been so enthusiastic about zucchini lately, and that is what I had a lot of in my fridge. A vegetable stew was the perfect way to use these beauties in the fridge, just screaming to be cooked, also the carrots slowly becoming limp and the couscous, who’s shelf-life I was unsure of.

chickpea and veggies stew over couscous

Chickpea and Vegetable Stew with Couscous

  • 1 15.5 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 medium zucchini, cut into quarters and sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into quarters and sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped canned tomatoes with juice
  • 2½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup  couscous
  • 1 tab of butter
  • a few springs of parsley, chopped (I didn’t have any at hand, but it would have been delicious)

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onion and carrot. Cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about five minutes. Add the zucchini, cook, stirring, until the zucchini is tender, and then add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down a bit, about 10 to 15 minutes. Fill the tomato cans with water, add to the pot. Bring to a simmer. Add the chickpeas and turn the heat to low, cover partially and simmer 30 minutes. Taste, adjust salt and add pepper to taste.

In the meantime make the couscous, pour 1¼ cups water and the remaining olive oil in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. When the water is boiling remove from heat and add the couscous making sure that all of the couscous is covered by the water. Cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Add butter and fluff the couscous with a fork over a light flame.

Before serving, toss the chopped parsley in the stew. Serve with the stew smothering the couscous.

chickpea and veggies stew over couscous

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~ by italicious on July 23, 2009.

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