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.