amy chaplin

celebrating the art of eating well

Creamy chickpea vegetable stew

POSTED ON December 20, 2009

creamy chickpea vegetable stew

I wanted to post something healthy, yet festive; perhaps something you could serve your guests this holiday season.  Even though this stew isn’t festive or the least bit Christmassy, it definitely is just what I needed after a string of holiday parties. The late nights of rich food, wine and way too many handmade chocolates all seemed to disappear into the past as I ate a bowl of this stew.  The creaminess and ever-so-soothing texture comforted and repaired my body and spirit.

Blending half the chickpeas is the trick to creating the luscious consistency and at this point in the recipe, the stew could be turned into a soup by adding more water. I can’t help but think of the many ways this stew could be dressed up.  You could add more herbs like rosemary, some lemon or even blend in a head of roasted garlic. After tasting it you may, like me, decide to just leave it plain and enjoy its comforting simplicity.



chickpeas, kombu and fresh bay leaves

creamy chickpea vegetable stew

Ps. For last minute homemade gift ideas and a story about my Australian Christmases check out Poetry of Food.

Happy Holidays!

Creamy chickpea vegetable stew

2 cups chickpeas
2 bay leaves
1 inch piece kombu

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram
large pinch sea salt
2 carrots, cut in ½ inch dice
2 small turnips, cut in ½ inch dice
2 stalks celery, diced
¼ of a medium size butter cup squash, cut in ¾ inch dice
2 teaspoons tamari or more to taste
fresh black pepper
chopped parsley or dill to garnish

Wash chickpeas, cover with plenty of filtered water and soak over night.
Drain and rinse, cover with 2 inches of filtered water, add bay leaves and kombu.

Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 1 ½ hours. If you are using a pressure cooker, which I hope you are, bring up to high pressure, lower heat and cook for 35 minutes. Allow pressure to come down, remove heat and set aside to cool.

In another pot heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions and sauté  for 5 minutes. Stir in the marjoram, salt, carrots, turnips, celery and squash. Add enough filtered water to just cover the vegetables, about 1 ½ to 2 cups. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Strain chickpeas, reserving cooking liquid. Place half the chickpeas in a blender, add 3 cups of reserved cooking liquid (make it up with water if you don’t have enough) and blend until smooth, adding water if it gets too thick. Pour into cooked vegetable mixture along with remaining chickpeas. Sir well and season with tamari and black pepper to taste. Serve garnished with parsley or dill.

Serves 6.



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  • Bonnie says:

    Mmmm I could do with a bowl of this right now! I’ll go soak some chickpeas for tomorrow!!!

  • Sara says:

    I agree with what Bonnie said. I am officially ‘cookied out’… i wouldnt care if i ever saw another cookie til next holiday. This soup however, i want it!

  • Jennifer says:

    Thanks! This is a great recipe and a great blog.

    I didn’t have marjoram so i used a combo of ground cumin, paprika and ground ginger as a substitute. It worked a treat.

  • Kharlot says:

    I made this and it turned out wonderfully – so thank you! The turnips add a lovely and very subtle taste to the final soup (doesn’t overpower the squash or chickpeas) that goes really well with the marjoram. Also, this is easy to make.

  • bek says:

    I am an amateur cook, could someone please tell me what the bay leaves and kombu add to the chickpeas?

    • Amy Chaplin says:

      Hi Bek,

      The Kombu helps beans become more digestible and infuses the dish minerals. The bay leaves add flavor, but you could leave them out, if you don’t have them.

      Happy cooking!


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