Provencal Stew


* 1 tablespoon extra virgin oil
* 2 cups chopped, cleaned leeks
* 2 medium portobello mushrooms cleaned and cut into 2.5 centimeters / 1 inch squares
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 1 x 400 grams / 14 ounces can diced tomatoes
* Pinch of saffron
* 2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
* 2 medium carrots, chopped
* 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets (3 cups)
* 2 celery heads, cut on the diagonal into 5 centimeters / 2 inch chunks
* Make a bouquet garni of 2 rosemary sprigs, 4 thyme sprigs, a handful of parsley stems and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper corns
* 3 cups water
* 1 x 400 grams / 14 ounces can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
* Salt and black pepper to taste
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

Warm the oil in a pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and mushrooms and saute for 10 minutes or until the leeks are softened but not browned. Add the wine, turn the heat up to high an cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes, saffron and fennel seeds to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the carrots, cauliflower, celery, bouquet garni and the water. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat, partially cook and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chickpeas and cook another 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Remove bouquet garni and stir in chopped parsley.