The other night while out for dinner with my fiancé, I spotted a soup special on the menu board that intrigued me. The chef had combined chickpeas with tomatoes and basil. Sure, that sounds like a winning combo, but for some reason it had never occurred to me to combine them as a soup. I took this as a challenge.
Early in the afternoon I decided that I was going to experiment to see just what I could do with this new revelation. I started by making a batch of my French Bread dough, with which I would later make baguettes. Full disclosure: I replaced some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat because whatever – I do what I want.
I decided to use Great Northern beans for this stew, because that’s what I had in the cupboard. In fact, I didn’t have to shop for this recipe at all. The ingredients are so basic, I had everything on hand and was even able to use up some things that were in the fridge.
When I started, my plan was to keep this very basic. Then I saw that I had a few small potatoes and a couple of carrots that were begging to be a part of the fun. Who am I to deny my produce the happiness it desires?
- olive oil
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tablespoon brown miso (optional, but do it)
- a bit of Anaheim pepper, minced (optional)
- 4 cups water
- 2 cans Great Northern Beans
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium potato, diced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced into ribbons
- 2 links Field Roast Mexican Chipotle grain sausage, diced
- salt & pepper
- In a medium stockpot, sauté onion (and pepper if you're using it) in olive oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute more.
- Add miso and water, stirring to scrape up any browned bits that accumulated.
- Add beans, tomatoes, potato, carrot, and all but 2 tablespoons of basil to the pot and stir to combine.
- Bring to a low boil, stir and reduce heat to low. Partially cover the stockpot with the lid and allow to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are fork tender, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary to keep it from sticking.
- Brown sausage in olive oil over medium heat.
- Fill a bowl with stew and top with sausage. Garnish with basil ribbons and serve.