Slow Cooker Pomegranate Chickpea Stew

In Greek mythology, the pomegranate was offered to the goddess Demeter in prayer for fertile land.  It's a snow day today, and we are far from the fertile fields of early spring.  So, consider this recipe my offering to Demeter.  I even sweetened the deal by including chickpeas, swiss chard, leeks and carrots.  What goddess wouldn't respond well to such winter bounty?

This recipe is inspired by Middle Eastern cuisine, namely the prominent use of pomegranate molasses.  It's found in many meat dishes, salads, and desserts.  Both tart and sweet, pomegranate molasses isn't even a molasses.  It's reduced pomegranate juice.  And damn, does it make a fine stew, an even better stew.  

Take this stew to the next level with some pomegranate seeds on top.  On the side, enjoy some pita with olive oil sprinkled with za'atar and salt.  Serious yes!

Everything mixed together in the slow cooker.  Just waiting for the lid!

Everything mixed together in the slow cooker.  Just waiting for the lid!

Slow Cooker Pomegranate Chickpea Stew

3 carrots, sliced thick

2 cups leeks, thinly sliced

6 cups swiss chard, torn (or 2 bunches)

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

¼ cup pomegranate molasses 

2 ½ cups broth (fake chicken, vegetable, etc)

1 tsp agave

½ cup bulgur

Pomegranate Chickpea Stew.jpg

1. Add everything listed above to the slow cooker.  Mix.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours. Adjust taste (more molasses, agave, salt, etc), if needed.  Serve with fresh pomegranate seeds on top.