Cooking in Challenging Times

Chickpea Stew with Lots of Veggies

Chickpea Stew with Lots of Veggies
Kale, Cabbage, Spinach, Carrot, Onion, Celery, Tomato

We are cooking in some challenging times, my friends. But we can do this and we can do this well! Look in the fridge and get excited!

We are cooking without the luxury of just popping over to the supermarket to get whatever ingredient our original recipe requires.

Today’s meal started in the pantry with a can of chickpeas and progressed to the veggie drawer in the fridge. There was a very small head of cabbage left over from my Stuffed Cabbage rolls. Less than a half bag of pre-washed spinach, and an aging bunch of curly kale.

Staples of carrot, onion, celery and garlic are almost always on hand. It was here that this hearty, healthy, satisfying stew recipe began to take shape.

Also, don’t underestimate dried herbs. They definitely have flavor and can substitute for fresh in these unusual times. Hopefully the dried herbs in your pantry are not too old!

Chickpea Stew Recipe


Rather than list ingredients in order of use, I list them here by location to make it easy to substitute ingredients that are on hand.


  • 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 qt. vegetable stock
  • 1 cup fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (save the rest of the can for another use, UPDATE: I used the rest in my Tortilla Soup recipe now posted here)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • olive oil
  • sherry vinegar
  • salt and pepper

*Tip: I always look for low-sodium versions of canned beans, tomatoes, and stock. Then I can control the sodium and salt-to-taste later in the recipe.


  • 1/2 t. dried basil
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/2 t. dried thyme
  • 1/2 t. chili flakes

*Tip: Rub dried herbs between the palms to release their oils before adding to the recipe, their fragrant aroma will tell you they still have life in them.


  • 1 bunch curly kale, stripped and torn
  • 2 oz. fresh spinach
  • very small head savoy cabbage, sliced
  • 1 lg. carrot, sliced
  • 1 lg. celery rib, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • parmesan or vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast for garnish


Heat 3 T. olive oil in a soup pot (see below) over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, and celery then sauté until nicely softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, dried herbs, and chili flakes and cook for another few minutes.

Add vegetable stock and crushed tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Add kale, lower the heat, and cook until the kale is soft. Lastly add chickpeas, cabbage, and spinach and simmer until the cabbage wilts. Add a small splash of sherry vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve:

Ladle stew into warm bowls. Top with a good drizzle of olive oil. Dust with parmesan or vegan parmesan. Serve extra cheese on the side.

Bon Appétit!

My Le Creuset Collection in this photoshoot:

Le Creuset Signature White Enameled Cast Iron 4.5 Quart Round Dutch Oven with Cerise Cherry Bon Appetit Script & Gold Knob

Le Creuset Dinner Plates and Pasta Bowls in Oyster Color

Le Creuset Herb Planter with Tray in Meringue Color

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