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Dinner Tonight: Chickpea Stew with Saffron, Yogurt, and Garlic

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One of the best parts about spring is how the light changes. Even if it's still too cool to bare your ankles, the light is buttery and soft and long-shadowed.

This Genius soup—Heidi Swanson's Chickpea Stew with Saffron, Yogurt, and Garlic—is a bit like that. It's the warmest, gentlest yellow (thanks to saffron), creamier than you'd think (thanks to yogurt), and heftier than you'd expect a spring soup to be (thanks to chickpeas). It's "lush in all the right places," as Kristen wrote in the recipe's headnote, which makes it a go-to for these still-chilly days—especially since all the ingredients are staples, and they marry in just about 20 minutes.

Heidi Swanson's Chickpea Stew with Saffron, Yogurt, and Garlic
Heidi Swanson's Chickpea Stew with Saffron, Yogurt, and Garlic

Grocery List:
(Organized by area of the market)

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (One and a half 15-ounce cans, rinsed and drained)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

We're assuming you already have olive oil, a large yellow onion, salt, 2 cloves garlic, saffron threads, 3 egg yolks, 1 cup of plain yogurt, and sweet paprika. If not, add those to the list!

The Game Plan:


About 20 minutes before dinner, finely chop the onion and sauté it in a medium-large pot over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a few pinches of salt, stirring until softened. Stir in the chickpeas, broth, and garlic, bring the liquid to a simmer, and then remove from the heat.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, saffron, and yogurt. Add a cup of the hot broth to the yogurt mixture, stirring constantly as you do. (This prevents curdling—very important.) Slooooowly whisk the yogurt-broth mixture into the soup pot. Without letting it come to a simmer, cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the soup has thickened considerably.

Serve in bowls sprinkled with paprika and lots of chopped cilantro.

See the full recipe here.

Tags: chickpeas, saffron, 30 minute dinners