Monday, December 8, 2008

Spicy Chickpeas and Winter Vegetables

In anticipation of the travel adventure that the Husband and I will soon be embarking on, I spent a bitterly cold day yesterday transacting commerce in suburbia. It was the kind of day that makes you recoil when you step outside. The wind never died down and people ran from their cars to where they were going.

Yes. I complain about the cold all the time, so I lack credibility. I know this. But yesterday was different. Yesterday I was literally moved to tears when I saw a man at an intersection.

I was waiting to turn right, and he was standing in the median by the left lane. He was dressed for the weather. He had on thick canvas coveralls, a hooded sweatshirt, workboots and ski gloves. He looked to be about 65. There was a duffel bag on the ground near him, and he held a big, creased cardboard sign: Hard Worker.

[Heavy Sigh.] So many people are struggling this year to survive, just as the weather is getting dangerously cold. At dinner last night, I hoped that the hard worker had somewhere warm to go home to.

Spicy Chickpeas and Winter Vegetables


1 TB vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, white and light green parts chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp whole cloves
3 c lower sodium vegetable broth
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
4 dried red chilies
2 carrots, chopped
2 small (or 1 large) heads of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/2 lb assorted mushrooms
10 oz kale, stems trimmed, roughly chopped
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice or red wine vinegar (optional)


Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, leeks garlic, and cloves and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes, scraping bottom of pan to remove any browned bits.

Add the remainder of the ingredients (excluding salt, pepper and lemon/vinegar), and bring to a simmer. Cook with lid on for about 30 minutes, or until cauliflower and carrots are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Remove chilies prior to serving. Add a splash or lemon juice or red wine vinegar to each bowl prior to serving if desired. Serve with couscous or rice. Serves 6-8.


Luisa said...

"Transacting commerce" made me laugh; the man with the sign made me cry. Safe travels to you and your husband!

saltygirl said...

Thanks Luisa! We don't leave until March... but we're gearing up early! Have a great trip to Berlin.