Chickpeas and Couscous

I’m  a big fan of “canned” meals.  Now, before you are SHOCKED and horrified allow me to clarify.  I do not refer to Chef Boyarde meals of coagulated mass of cheese food and tomato paste.  I can barely tolerate the preservatives in a can of Progesso Soup.  I say “canned” meals because nearly all of my random creations relate back to stews and soups that come from combining a lot of canned ingredients.  It’s for the sake of convenience and ease.

As a vegetarian, I like soups and stews because — in one BIG pot you have your full meal — the protein and various vegetables to complete the traditional food pyramid.   Also, in “semi-homemade” moment, I will admit that I also like the pre-seasoned canned tomatoes.  I’ve manufactured a couple of different variations.  This one doesn’t really have a name, as yet.  Any suggestions?

Saute 1 medium chopped onion and several diced cloves of garlic in a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large soup pot.  They shouldn’t be too soft but “translucent” as many chefs seem to like that adjective.  Drain 2-3 cans of chickpeas and rinse, adding to the pot.  Add another 2 to 3 cans of tomatoes, the garlic and basil variety.  At this point, I usually open the spice cupboard and see what’s available.  Cumin seemed like a good compliment, and I sprinkled a few teaspoons.  The fresh basil was also looking a little weak, so in that went too.  And, for some reason, I added honey — 1 or 2 tablespoons.  Other nice compliments might be zucchini or for those true omnivores, some kind of sausage, maybe?

This concoction should be fairly thick and I serve it over couscous.  I tried to make it look pretty, but I confess I am not working too hard on my “food styling” skills.  Cooking after dark leads to pictures after dark which absent a tripod leads to flash photography, belying the true beauty that is and forever will be grains, tomatoes, and beans.

Chickpeas and couscous, with accessories.

Chickpeas and couscous, with accessories.

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