Kitchen Classics: Chickpea, Tomato and Potato Stew for Winter’s Reprise

What?? It’s winter?


Okay, Mother Nature, this is really getting old.  I mean, we’ve been tortured by  suffering with  enduring  tolerating winter since October 21, 2010 (should I feel guilty that that’s my birthday?).  Time for some warmer temps, dry streets, green buds poking their happy noses out of the ground.  Time for some plus-size temperatures (not to be confused with plus-size clothing, about which I wouldn’t be too happy). Time for the sun to persist through post-dinnertime, cajoling us to peel off our scarves, gloves, overcoats.

Time for SPRING, already!

But okay, since we’re expecting upwards of 15 cm (6 inches) of snow today, and since the temperatures are -5C (23 F) instead of the seasonal +6C (43 F) today, I will treat you to this last bowl of winter stew for the season.

You know how, sometimes, you make serendipitous discoveries at the least expected times? I’m not talking about the kind of discovery where you perchance leave a beaker of staphylococci bacteria lying around the lab and then, lo and behold, a day later you have. . . pennicilin!  Nor the kind where you decide to cut your business trip short because you miss your hubby, hurry home, then barge in on said hubby and his secretary in flagrante delicto.  And certainly not the kind where a bunch of science nerds all decide at the same time, “Hey! I think there’s an extra planet up there! Who knew?”

No, those are all examples of monumental discoveries–and I’m not talking about those.

I’m referring to the little quotidien discoveries that can happen to anyone, the types that add a little burst of excitement to your otherwise mundane day. Like when you pull out your spring blazer for the first time after a long winter (and how I dream of that day) and find an unexpected $20 bill inside the pocket.  Or when you’re packing up the house for a move to your new place and (as happened to the HH and me when we moved to our current place) you reach to grab the last mug in the cupboard and come across that hand-knit tea cozy you received as a Christmas present from your first boyfriend’s mother, 25 years ago–the one you had been certain was lost forever.  That’s the kind of everyday discovery that makes you smile, that adds a little bit of joy to the day.

I experienced one of those happy discoveries this past week.  You see, I had completely forgotten about my recipe for Chickpea and Potato Stew with Tomatoes, a recipe I cooked up almost every week throughout my 20s and 30s.  As a newbie cook, I came across the original recipe in an old Canadian Living Magazine, and it couldn’t be simpler.  It was the perfect dish for a single vegan just learning to cook: everyday ingredients, simple preparation, no special tools or equipment required.  The components came together quickly, then took care of themselves as they simmered quietly in a corner while you went about your business for 30 minutes or so.  Afterward, they greeted you with a robust, warming, perfectly seasoned stew containing a wonderful balance of protein, carbs, and sauciness.

How had I forgotten all about this stew?  It came back to me after we received a five-pound (2 kg) sack of potatoes in our organic produce box last week.  What to do with them all? And that’s when I remembered. I pulled out my “Veg Main Meals” recipe folder from the bookcase and began to leaf through the hundreds of pages in it, each one clipped from a magazine or newspaper, or printed from a website or blog.

Forty minutes later, I still hadn’t found the recipe.  I knew it was there, somewhere–but another glance through the clippings still didn’t uncover it.  Determined, I decided to look for a similar base online, from which I could build a reasonable replica. A quick Google search–and up came dozens of similar recipes!

Okay, so maybe my old stew wasn’t unique.  But with the help of a good memory jog, I put this together.  At the last minute, I added some tahini–not in the original–to create a thicker, creamier sauce.  It worked beautifully, and produced a rich gravy that is perfect for sopping up with crusty bread (as the HH ate it) or ladling over cooked rice or quinoa.

I’m so happy to have rediscovered my old favorite–especially today, when a warming stew is perfectly in order to bid winter “adieu.”  I still have a feeling that the original recipe will show up some day, though–most likely, the next time we move.

“Mum, you know we love those serendipitous discoveries, too.  Like, say, when you drop an extra treat under the kitchen table. Score!”

I’m also submitting this recipe to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays weekly event as a healthier option to “regular” stews.

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Last Year at this Time: Passover Coconut Macaroons (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free, ACD friendly)

Two Years Ago: Raw Raw for Spring! Crimson Salad with Pecans and Pumpkin Seeds

Three Years Ago: Spiced Carrot Gnocchi in a Creamy Sauce (not GF, sauce is ACD friendly)

© Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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  1. Oh, wow. Good luck with winter 🙁 We’ve got storms today, but just rain, thankfully! Regardless of weather, that stew looks delicious.

  2. I live in Toronto as well, and when I woke up in the morning and I saw that is snowing AGAIN, I was so angry! I used to love snow, but these days I just hate it! The stew looks delicious!

    • Yes, it’s tough to take this much snow in a single winter! 😉 At least you used to love it. . . can’t say I ever did. Glad the stew looks good, though. 🙂

  3. Ooh this looks great! I don’t have any diced tomatoes or tahini in my cabinet at the moment, but maybe after a trip to the store next weekend?

    It’s supposed to get down to the 20’s (Farenheit) here tonight. I’m not pleased. =(

    • You could make it without the tahini (the original recipe didn’t use it), but I think the tomatoes are integral. 😉 And when will it be spring already??

  4. That looks beyond delicious… and I bet it would make the perfect “farewell to winter” dinner!

  5. Ricki, that stew looks like the perfect dish for tonight’s blast of cold weather. I was doing yoga this evening and watching the white stuff swirl around. I’m ready for sunshine.

  6. The stew looks very comforting, which it better be if you’re still having snow even though it’s supposed to be spring! (We had 59 and sun today, though I’m sure that can’t last long.) The recipe looks like one I would make without thinking about ACD — but it’s ACD friendly? I could make it when you come to visit. 😀

    (I used to find it upsetting to celebrate my Oct. 19 birthday with a snowstorm, so I know how you feel about the long, long winter.)

    • Your spring sounds better than ours! And how nice to know that some ACD-friendly dishes are just “good food,” no matter what. How I would love to sit down and share some of this stew with you! (One of these days. . . ). And I must have forgotten that you’re a Libra, too. Then again, you seem so well balanced. 🙂

  7. love the recipe – it is just what is needed as we head into winter.

    When you mention your recipe folder I thought what I would give to sit down and browse through this folder – but I guess this blog is every bit as good

    • The folder goes back to when I first moved out of my parents’ home at age 17! I suppose there are some recipes in there that I will never actually make at this point, but like old clothes that I still love, I can’t bring myself to throw them away. Glad the recipe suits the kind of weather you are having over there, too! 🙂

  8. Gah. Prolonged winter, what a horrible thing! I don’t like normal winter, and I live in Brisbane (certainly no snow here – thankfully!). I guess your long winter fits in with our long summer, which to be honest I can’t complain about. Almost the end of March and still a 30 degree Celcius day! Maybe you need to switch hemispheres for a while?? 😉
    At least there is stew!

  9. AlaskaSmiles says

    Ok, Birthday girls of October, this one’s joining you on the 23rd! Hey, you can’t complain now, our snow isn’t gone here until late April, sometimes early May in Interior Alaska! And yes, Spring lasts about 2 weeks!

    I cooked some garbanzo’s today, about 5 hours, after soaking for 2 days (was lazy to cook prior to today), and the little things were still crunchy! Any ideas anyone why? Sometimes the beans cook nice and soft and other times, like today. I thought perhaps because they might be old beans? I ended up adding a little baking soda to the pot, and voila, soft beans. Though, I’ve read somewhere to not add bs to beans. I just didn’t want to eat them crunchy and didn’t want to throw them away!

    Lovely looking recipe! Maybe I’ll make it, instead of hummus!

    • Yay for more Libras (or are you Scorpio, like the HH?). Well, you’ve just explained why I could never (EVER) live in Alaska. 😉

      Apparently, garbanzos take more/less time to cook depending on how old they are. They do keep forever, but if they are very old, they may be dry/crunchy after being cooked, unless you simmer them the whole day! I love how you fixed it all up–not sure why the baking soda would have helped but it’s a great tip. Thanks!

  10. Hey Ricki,

    Yeah, it was a pretty mean thing to tease me with +10C, have me jump on my bike for commuting, to get slammed with snow the following day. Gah!

    But I love winter stews, so that is one perk of the cold…. but I am really anticipating the spring sans-snow. 🙂

    Glad to hear you refound your old favourite. 🙂 Sometimes I forget how much I like ingredients/meals because I rarely rotate my meals. 😉

    • Yes, spring will be a very welcome change–finally!! I’m the same way with older recipes now that I’ve been blogging so long–there’s just not as much time to revisit oldies when you’re constantly on the lookout for something new.

  11. Love it for being so simple! I know what u mean about winter ending… or not. Everytime I buy a butternut squash i’m like, ok, this is the last one!

  12. Honestly, this recipe looks damn good! I will be trying it for sure shortly.
    And, yeah! What is with this weather? So annoying! I was not impressed driving in this mess yesterday or tomorrow. Where is spring already? I am getting so upset…not really but you know. 🙂

  13. Oh you are so not alone. I flew home from a trip the weekend before last and we had to drive over the mountain pass from the airport in a blizzard (always fun). It has been snowing everyday since. Every. Single. Day. Today 6 to 10 inches, tonight 6 to 10 more.

    I need to make that nice warm meal tonight. Hmm, I’m thinking some cauliflower would be yummy in that too.

    • Okay, I don’t feel so bad now. . . your snow is worse! 😉 I haven’t made it with cauliflower yet, but I know it will be great that way, too. 🙂

  14. Ricki, this stew looks so comforting and perfect for this weather! I couldn’t believe it when I woke up to snow this morning… I’ve been treating myself to little things like raw cacao smoothies as an antidote to the winter weather. I’d be better off to try this recipe, though, and warm myself from the inside out. As always, nicely done!

  15. I love everything about this, except that it’s WINTER stew. What is with Spring? Would it HURRY UP? Seriously though, the addition of tahini is a great idea. Thanks for another yummy meal Ricki! You MUST have a stellar memory! xo

    • Maybe I should have called it “almost spring” stew? The tahini imparts a really lovely creaminess here. And I forget–why do you say I have a stellar memory–?? 😉

  16. This looks amazing! I should make this now that nature decided to give us a few more days of winter! 🙂

  17. Oh, Ricki, you went right to my chickpea-loving heart with this one–yum! Can’t wait to make it. Just have to do it for myself as hubby as declared war against “chickapeas” (yes, he says it wrong on purpose). More for me though. 🙂 I love the idea of adding tahini, too. I bought some of that just to have on hand for your recipes. I’ve been eating lots of stews and soups lately. The weather has been up and down with the emphasis on down of late. We even got an inch and a half of snow yesterday morning. It warmed up enough that it disappeared quickly, but still. Okay, off to put wood in the wood stove! I’m sure that recipe will turn up like the tea cozy (sweet). I have recipes stashed everywhere it seems.

    Have a great day!

    • Thanks, Shirley! I am totally honored that you bought tahini b/c of my recipes! You won’t regret it–it’s full of calcium and tastes great. 😀 I’m sure we are recipe twins that way–I have little slips of paper w/ recipes written on them on almost every surface in the house. 😉

  18. This looks really good! Sometimes vegans stews are WAAAAAY better than meat ones. Yum.

    I’m definitely also feeling the desire to make a bunch of wintery foods as well given the amount of snow outside and the below normal temperatures. The sun is out today so I can only hope that means that things will start to really melt!

    • I am certainly hoping (PRAYING??) that the snow will be gone for good this time (and if I had my way, that would truly be “for good”–never have winter again!). 😉 This stew is really hearty, warming, and satisfyng, one of my all-time faves. Hope you enjoy it!

  19. This looks like my kind of stew! I never really put potatoes in stews/soups but love it.

  20. This looks so delicious, and I am loving stews at the moment! I’ll have to give this a go, thanks!

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