Monday, February 16, 2009

Potato and Chic Pea Stew with Chipotle

I must be feeling good again. Today, for the first time in what feels like months, I spent the whole day in the kitchen, and boy did I cook and bake up a storm. Later I'll post my recipe for the BEST OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES EVER. But for now, I wanted to post my entry for this month's No Croutons Required Challenge. Each month, bloggers from around the world are invited to create a vegetarian soup or a salad recipe using the featured ingredient, which happens to be potatoes this month. So today, among other things, I made this delicious stew. It's simple, flavorful, hearty and a little bit spicy - perfectly wonderful and warming for a rainy day like today. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we did!

Potato and Chic Pea Stew with Chipotle

1 - 2 T. olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced leeks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup carrots - 3/4 cup of them sliced, 1/4 cup of them finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
2 1/2 cups yellow finn or creamer potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 T. tomato paste
2 cups chic peas
4 cups chic pea stock, water or vegetable stock
1 t. Mexican oregano
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely diced

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a medium-sized soup pot, and add the leeks. Saute' for five minutes or so, and add the 1/4 cup finely diced carrots, the celery and the garlic, along with a generous pinch of salt, to create the soup base. Cook over medium heat for about ten minutes or so, stirring frequently, until everything starts to become nicely golden. At this point, if you wish, you can deglaze the pan with a little splash of sherry or white wine or stock.

Next, stir in the two tablespoons of tomato paste, and then add the two cups of chic peas, and the four cups of liquid. Since I had just cooked my chic peas from scratch, I used a combination of chic pea stock and water. If you're using straight water, you may need to add a little more salt, so adjust accordingly.

Add the potatoes and the carrot slices, plus the oregano and chipotle pepper. You could surely add more chipotle pepper if you'd like, but I think it's a good idea to start sparingly and work your way up. Bring it all to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cover partially, and cook for another fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are nicely tender. Taste it, and add a little more salt if you feel so inclined.

Since I like this dish to have a more stew-like consistency, I used my immersion blender to puree half the soup, but you could enjoy it as-is if you don't feel like taking that extra step.

If you're feeling extra inspired, you could garnish this stew w/ a squeeze of lime, a few cilantro slivers, and a crumbling of cotija cheese. I'll probably serve it that way the next time, but today I just served it straight up, and it got rave reviews. We had to save room for those cookies! Stay tuned for the recipe, my friends. And until then, be well!

1 comment:

Rachel Cotterill said...

Looks tasty - I'd never heard of chipotle before but will look it up now.