A Provencal stew filled with the hearty flavors of carrots, fennel, leeks, chickpeas, and thyme.
chickpea bajane

It took me 20 years to start to like tomato sauce, so the fact that I can see myself someday tolerating fennel…kind of a big deal.

I don’t exactly get unstuck in my ways very easily is my point.

Besides which my disdain for anise/fennel/anything in the licorice-flavored-family is in my genes. My father couldn’t stand it nor his father before him. So I long ago accepted that it just might not be in the cards for me.

And then there was this stew.

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This stew which somehow came along and managed to subdue the formerly offensive vegetable into a subtle backdrop against which tender leeks, sweet carrots, and nutty chickpeas were allowed to shine.

I’m kind of hoping it’s a gateway “drug” to bigger and better fennel-infused meals. But for now, baby steps. And bowls of stew.

I just want to thank you all for your super, kind, supportive comments yesterday! They mean so much to me.

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Provencal Chickpea Bajane

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe

Provencal Chickpea Bajane

A Provencal stew filled with the hearty flavors of carrots, fennel, leeks, chickpeas, and thyme.

Ingredients

    For the quinoa
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • For the stew
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 lb carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • 1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and boiled until tender
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 5 oz baby spinach

Instructions

  1. For the quinoa, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 garlic clove to pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, water, quinoa, and thyme. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. For the stew, heat 1 teaspoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leek and garlic to the pan. Sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, fennel bulb, and carrots to the pan. Sauté for 10 minutes or until vegetables are golden. Add the wine and cook until evaporated. Stir in the broth, half of the thyme, and the chickpeas. Cook until heated through. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon juice, spinach, and salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. Divide the quinoa among four bowls and top with the stew. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.

Notes

Adapted from Cooking Light

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47 Responses to Provencal Chickpea Bajane

  1. Blond Duck says:

    I’d never heard of it but it sounds marvelous!

  2. One tiny step for fennel, one giant step for Joanne-kind! This sounds like a satisfying and comforting meal, full of goodies that I love…plus, so pretty.

  3. Monica says:

    Maybe this will get me on team fennel, too…it sure looks delicious!

  4. I’ve never even tried fennel, because my family convinced me long ago that I wouldnt like it. This stew sounds like the perfect setting to actually try it out!

  5. Simply Life says:

    I”m just getting over my fear of fennel from one bad incident years ago :) this looks like the perfect way to reintroduce it!

  6. Margarita says:

    I love fennel! It is great roasted too. Love all the different fresh flavors playing in this recipe, plus those hearty chickpeas and my favorite quinoa.

  7. I have come to love fennel in the past couple years since we’ve received it often with our CSA. What a great way to use it in this stew! And ironically, I have chickpeas soaking at home right now – was going to use them in a soup tonight. But maybe I should change the meal plan and make this instead :)

  8. I’m obsessed with chickpeas, so i’m glad I have another use for them. Great recipe!

  9. I love chick peas and this dish looks delish! I’ve always liked fennel, but husband isn’t much of a fan. There is so many other great flavors going on here so he may not notice it. ;)

  10. Hehe, Provencal – a perfect response to my recent post’s question! Man this stew is a beauty, drenched in hearty broth, fresh thyme, leeks, and white wine – all sounds so tasty!

  11. Never heard of this stew before – but it looks and sounds really good!

  12. This dish looks like an excellent and delicious first-step to bigger and bolder tastes. Your photos are so inviting, who could resist embarking on this odyssey of taste and flavor?! Nicely done, Joanne!

  13. Emma says:

    I’m late to the fennel party too. It’s only recently I’ve started to like it, though I’m still not particularly keen on it raw. Braised fennel was the game-changer for me.
    I’ve never heard of bajane..I guess it’s a provencal term, but whatever you call it this stew looks delicious.

  14. Amy says:

    Licorice. ACK. Licorice and celery…just no. I will make this, but I will replace the fennel with something. Like fairy dust or tears of a unicorn ;)

  15. everything in this dish is so inviting and rich flavors. I cant do licorice either.

  16. bajane looks terrific and all those yummy ingredients together is seriously tempting us to make it for dinner,thanks for sharing this excellent recipe :-)

  17. I love everything about this dish. I am fennel lover so this is my kind of meal! warm and hearty is the theme of my diet right now. It got cold here!

  18. Once you cross over to the fennel-side, I see un-ending possibilities. fennel is so amazing in soups and stews like this!

  19. Loving this dish and I’m totally excited to use our newly picked carrots in this meal!

  20. Pam says:

    I never liked black licorice until I turned 35… now I love it and fennel. The bajane looks healthy and tasty.

  21. I love fennel and I know I would enjoy this dish. Girl, it looks so good and healthy.

  22. Erica says:

    I would love a large bowl with avocado slices on top! That dish looks delicious, Joanne! Great textures and flavors!

  23. Sues says:

    My parents love fennel so much that my sister and I lovingly refer to them as “fennel people.” This stew would be right up their alley! (and mine, too!)

  24. I’m glad that you are starting to come around to fennel. I just discovered it a few years and am glad I did. Lovely looking stew full of healthy stuff!

  25. Is it wrong I want to eat this entire batch all by myself?!

  26. Kate says:

    I don’t like black licorice, but I love fennel!

  27. Christine says:

    My mom liked licorice flavored things, even black licorice ice cream. Growing up, fennel was a weed so I doubt she ever ate it. I, on the other hand, did not inherit the same love. Like you, fennel is not something I seek out. Maybe some day. This dish however looks delicious!

  28. I am always on the lookout for healthy soup recipes and this one looks amazing!

  29. I knew that this would look amazing when I first read the title. I love the words provencal + chickpeas, because they’re a totally awesome combo. And I was so right, this sounds amazing and super comforting! I’ve actually never had fennel, but this looks like a fab dish to try it out :-)

  30. gloria says:

    I love chickpeas Joanne and this salad look delicious, I was think in make something wih chickpeas!

  31. Karen says:

    I’m not fond of licorice flavor, so never tried fennel. When I finally did, WOW… love it!

  32. These simple one pot dishes with great flavor (and vegetarian) are definitely the key to eating well all fall and winter. I love this one!

  33. I have the same disdain for fennel so I’m kind of curious about this dish. I always want to like it, but just can’t get past that strong licorice flavor!

  34. Eileen says:

    I admit, I have a hard time with lots of fennel all at once, but using it as one of many components can be really good. A stew like this sounds ideal. :)

  35. Shannon says:

    i love fennel roasted, but raw is a different story! this looks like another wonderful way to enjoy it :)

  36. Yum! Looks delicious, Joanne! I don’t like licorice either but fennel is ok! It is great when caramelized while roasted or in a frypan. :)

  37. Amy Tong says:

    Your provencal chickpea bajane is gorgeous and so healthy. This is definitely perfect for the weather.

  38. This dish looks delcious. I have never eaten fennel before, but if it taste anything like licorice, I am not sure if I would like it either.

  39. Monet says:

    I have a hard time with fennel too, but if you liked this recipe then its worth me giving it a try! Thank you for sharing Joanne. Looks delicious, as your recipes always do!

  40. cquek says:

    Hope you had a lovely dinner with friends :)

  41. I love the combination of flavors in this stew. It sounds great!

  42. Ohh, interesting! Being a meat eater I’d add some chicken. Other than that, looks really tasty, some awesome flavors going on.

  43. Now that is one hearty delicious salad!

  44. Once you finally make the connection with unusual flavors like fennel, or Brussel’s sprouts, you never go back! I love this recipe, can’t wait to try it out.

  45. Oh boy I wish I could have this for dinner right now. I have been just snacking on no so good food tonight and I could sure use something healthy :-)

  46. So wonderful to see something that screams both health and comfort food at the same time! I miss cooking with wine, and it’s silly that this dorm has such a strict policy on no alcoholic beverages or “paraphernalia” (aka wine glasses and bottle openers!). Either way, this stew is getting made. The weather demands it.

  47. Johanna GGG says:

    the french seem to know how to treat fennel – this sounds delicious – I am a bit fennel shy but I have got better with it over the years – still can’t eat it raw but cooked it can work

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