In the interest of full disclosure, I was going to sit this one out. I had a shellfish reaction last Thursday followed immediately by a very bad epinephrine reaction. It must have walloped my immune system because the cold I had rapidly turned into bronchitis. I've missed three days of work, and I rarely take sick days. So I felt like I had a pretty good reason for skipping CEiMB (although I skipped last week, the salmon was in the fridge but I was just worn out after spending the afternoon and evening in urgent care and the ER). I'm not a lamb fan, but I planned to make the stew with chicken and maybe give it a tagine spin. Until I didn't get better.
With the bronchitis hanging on longer than I'd like, I have plenty of time to visit other blogs. I was checking out my fellow CEiMB bloggers, and MacDuff at Lonely Sidecar just knocked me over with her post. First of all, she's channeling the movie Moonstruck, and that had me in stitches. Then, she 86's the lamb and makes this into minestrone. I may feel wretched, but surely I can make a pot of soup. So I did.
The soup had to be made with what I had in the house, so I skipped the parsnips and mint. I started by sauteing the onion, garlic, carrot and celery in olive oil. Then I added salt, pepper, tomato paste, chickpeas, 4 cups of chicken broth and the orange zest. I also threw in a can of Ro-Tel tomatoes and about 1/2 teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika. I supremed the orange since I thought orange segments wouldn't integrate into the dish as well. I skipped the cumin as I thought it would overpower the flavor of the orange (but I think it would be great with lamb). At the end, when it was bubbling away, I added Swiss chard from last week's CSA box and let the heat of the soup cook it.
This was FANTASTIC, and I totally thank MacDuff for the inspiration. It was spicy and fragrant with the orange zest. The only thing I might change next time would be to add half a vanilla bean to the stock and let it add its flowery notes to the soup. Otherwise, it was just what I needed to perk up my taste buds.
This week's recipe was selected by Farah of Confessions of a Novice Baker. Farah blogs from Singapore and is always cooking up yummy things that make me wish I was in her neighborhood. Check out what the other Craving Ellie in My Belly bloggers did here. I bet you'll see a lot of lamb, from people who, uh, know how to follow directions. Unlike me.
Lamb-less Stew with Orange (inspired by MacDuff at Lonely Sidecar, who started with Ellie Krieger's lamb stew recipe)
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken broth
3 T tomato paste
1/2 t smoked Spanish paprika
zest of one orange (I used a Microplane)
segments from the same orange (I cut them into supremes)
1 15.5 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes
1 bunch Swiss chard
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large skillet. Add the chopped onions saute for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, celery and carrots. Stir and allow to saute for a few minutes. Zest the orange with the Microplane and add to the pot, along with the rest of the ingredients, reserving the Swiss chard. Taste for seasoning, chop the Swiss chard and add it to the piot. Turn off the heat and let the soup cook the chard. Ladle into bowls and serve with a crusty loaf of sourdough.