What’s the difference between Americans and yogurt? Leave yogurt alone for 200 years and it will grow a culture.

Cynicism aside, greek yogurt is one of the greatest things I’ve ever consumed. Likewise, so are chickpeas. So how can I combine these? Well, by Heidi Swanson’s Chickpea Stew with Saffron, Yogurt, and Garlic (via: Epicurious, Recipe Partner 2015). Few side notes about this dish – first of all, saffron is probably one of the most interesting and (overrated???) ingredients I’ve encountered. Apparently it was $20? Also, it is the piston? stem? or something of a flower, which I thought was interesting, but maybe not so much needed – use sparingly folks! Also, avoid putting your face anywhere near the yellow onions. Waterworks will ensue. But for this recipe you will need the following: (and we are enhancing the blog and including full recipes!)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion
Fine-grain salt
3 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 1/2 (15 oz cans) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads (modest pinches)
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 cup plain yogurt (Greek or regular)
Sweet paprika
Small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

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First, you want to chop up your onions and your garlic because you will need to heat those in a pan over medium heat with olive oil and large pinches of salt.

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Once the onions are softened, you will add your chickpeas and your vegetable broth. Bring this to a simmer and then remove from heat. Below you can see what both how many chickpeas and how much greek yogurt you should have.

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While your broth is simmering, you want to start to make your yogurt mixture. Whisk together yogurt, egg yolks, and saffron.

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Once your broth has simmered, add 1 cup of broth to your yogurt mixture, slowly whisking as you add. Once it is all mixed together, very slowly whisk this mixture back into the pot of soup (which should not be on any heat). At this time, return the soup to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes until the broth thickens (like the texture of heavy whipping cream) but don’t let it simmer.

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Once your broth has thickened, ladle into individual bowls (or however you plan to serve) and top with paprika and your cilantro.

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This was a fun recipe to make, but there were a lot of steps. It was the first soup/stew I have tried to make, so I’m not quite as confident in this dish as I have been with some of my others. I had difficulty getting my broth to thicken, and I am still not sure if my broth thickened enough and it seemed that some of my yogurt had started to separate. Overall it had a nice flavor – the tang from the greek yogurt and the garlic were the most prominent. I enjoyed having the texture from the whole chickpeas as well. I am hoping as the soup cools it will thicken and have a better texture and not be so thin. I may even try adding red pepper flakes to add some additional heat. If I can figure out the texture issue, I would definitely add this to my go to recipe box 🙂

*For anyone reading – do you have any tips/tricks for making soups? How do you know when your broth has thickened enough/at the proper texture? Thanks!

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