April 1, 2012

Easy Garbanzo and Sausage Stew

     It may be warm and sunny where you are, but it is--surprise-- cold and rainy here in Portland. A hearty stew still sounded good a few nights ago.

     I had garbanzo beans and I wanted to use them. I searched, I googled, and most of the recipes I found called for lemon. Well, I didn't have a lemon and I didn't feel like going out into  the cold, rainy dusk to get some. So I kept on searching.

     What I ended up finding is the inspiration for this stew. It reminds me quite a bit of gumbo, with chickpeas instead of rice. It has the roux, it has the sausage. It is delicious. Velvety, hot and savory. If you are in the Pacific Northwest, you might give this a try soon. If you happen to be in a very strange heatwave (like a lot of the country), maybe save this recipe for next fall or winter. You will be glad you did.
Garbanzo and Sausage Stew

  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 links andouille sausage, chopped
  • 1 whole white onion, chopped
  • 1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced, fire roasted tomatoes
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning. or to taste,
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup orzo, or other pasta
  • 2 cups baby spinach, torn
  1.  Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown. Remove sausage, draining any oil back into the pot. Set aside.
  2. Add remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Turn heat to medium. Add onions and bell pepper to oil and cook until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic and cook a couple of minutes more.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Sprinkle flour all over and stir until the mixture becomes paste-like and a light golden brown. Gradually add the tomatoes, stirring to combine. Add the chicken stock and stir. Turn heat up to medium, bringing the stew to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is thick and smooth.
  4. Stir in the basil, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Stir in sausage. Cook over low heat for an hour or two, until the flavors have a chance to combine. Add garbanzo beans and stir. 
  5. About 10 minutes before you plan to eat, return stew to a simmer and stir in orzo. 5 minutes before eating, add torn spinach leaves. Adjust seasonings, stir well and enjoy!
Serves 4-6

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