Today's chickpea hot pot recipe was inspired by a small burst of early spring cleaning. I have a certain shelf in a certain cupboard in my kitchen that houses all manner of grains, legumes and rices. These ingredients do their best to spill over and infiltrate other areas in their proximity (the refrigerator, various bowls on the countertop, other cupboards), but I do my very best to keep them in their place. One of the problems I run into are the almost empty bags and jars - the 1/2 cup of purple rice here, the 3/4 cup of whole wheat couscous there. I end up with whole clusters of these stragglers. On this particular cleaning spree I came face to face with a large billowy plastic bag containing just a handful or two of bulgur wheat nestled in one of its corners. Not wanting to toss it out, I used it as the starting point for today's recipe. I have an abundance of citrus around right now, so the fast-cooking bulgur cooks in a light orange-juice accented broth. Plenty of chickpeas, tiny cauliflower pieces, onions, and greens add texture and substance to the hearty pot.
And for the sticklers, I don't meant hotpot in the traditional sense, I'm naming it this because we're literally talking about a big hearty pot of hot stew - and truth be told I think I've overused the soup title lately here, here, and here.
Readers looking to make this gluten-free can trade in an alternate grain (quinoa would be nice) and this should work for you as well - I'd likely pre-cook the grain and stir it in, but you might also cook it in the pot.
Chickpea Hot Pot Recipe
Leftovers are going to thicken up ovenight - thin with a bit of water/stock while reheating, and adjust for seasoning again. You can find bulgur in the bins at most natural food stores and Whole Foods Markets.
1 large yellow onion, chopped
a splash of olive oil
a couple pinches of salt
2/3 cup uncooked bulgur
1 14-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cup cauliflower, trimmed into small trees
2 cup kale or chard, destemmed and cut into thin ribbons
olive oil for finishing drizzle
red onion, chopped for garnish
In a large pot over medium-high heat saute the onion in the olive oil along with the salt - for a minute or until the onion begins to soften a bit. Stir in the bulgur. Stir in the chickpeas and the stock. Bring the ingredients to a simmer. Cook for another few minutes, it should start to thicken. Taste to see if the bulgur is cooked through, if so add the orange juice. If not, simmer for a couple more minutes before adding the juice. Stir in the cauliflower and the kale as well - simmer another few minutes, until the cauliflower is just tender. If the stew is on the thick side, thin with a bit more water or stock. Taste, and add salt if necessary. Serve garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and red onions.
Serves 4 - 6.