Winter is in full swing and I know some of you are even in the midst of snowstorms. In case you are looking for something that will warm you up and is also delicious, this Chickpea Stew with Kale and Sweet Potatoes is something to definitely consider.
There are some things that could be made and shared here that I sometimes wonder: will you like it? How do I convey the flavors of something I think is fabulous but could seem a little different than what you would typically make and like? This Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew is something that for some could be a little different (it’s got turmeric and also coconut milk). I recently shared my lentil soup and it’s sort of a similar concept. The other morning I happened to catch Alison Roman from The New York Times making “The Stew”. I can honestly say I’ve never seen Alison Roman before on Instagram or on TV. I have read some of her recipes in the New York Times. I do not have her cookbook, but now I’m curious to check it out. The Stew is a chickpea stew she put together that has gone viral with the hashtag #thestew. I was intrigued by it and had to make it. I looked in my cupboards and had everything it took to make it. I was only missing some greens to add to it. Once I made it to the market and picked up some kale, it was time to try out her recipe.
I did start with sauteeing the onion in the pot and added the turmeric. I omitted garlic and ginger. My kids aren’t huge on ginger in recipes (too spicy)and I thought the onion was enough for flavor. I added in the two cans of chickpeas and started to cook them up. I mixed it up together and soon after removed a cup of the chickpeas and added them to a small skillet. I added the broth and just one can of coconut milk (I just had regular coconut milk, not full fat and it was perfect. I’ve seen some commentary on the type of coconut milk to use and people are confused about what to do with the fat on top of the full fat coconut milk. There is no fat on top of the regular coconut milk and my soup had the perfect consistency, so don’t be afraid to use a can of regular, not full fat, coconut milk). As for the greens to add in at the end, I’m not a huge fan of raw kale. I think you could fresh spinach at the end as it would wilt enough with the heat. The kale I think would be way too chewy (at least for my taste)or the collard greens. Like I said, I was making my kale soup in a whole different pot so I had that on hand to use and it was perfectly cooked up.As for the crisping of the chickpeas. There would truly be no way to crisp up a small portion of the chickpeas to reserve on top. They started to get mushy and break up once I got them cooking with the onions and the turmeric, which is totally fine for the stew, but not fine to reserve some crispy ones. So to get those gorgeous and crispy chickpeas that you see all over the internet, you have to do things a little differently. Once I added them to the smaller skillet, I had the chance to get them to crisp up a bit. I let them cook a bit on one side for a few minutes and then carefully turned them all over to the other side. Make sure to not handle them too much or they will also break apart like the ones in the pan for the stew. Luckily my kids are chickpea fans and they both were gobbling up a portion of this once it was ready. Now for the sour cream part on top. I think the soup is fine without it. I used a spoonful of unsweetened coconut milk yogurt (I have someone dairy free here). So if you are vegan or just dairy free, go with some unsweetened coconut milk yogurt just to give it a little tanginess.
There are a few things going on there: the large pot of my kale soup, the large pot of this chickpea stew and also a small skillet to crisp up some of the chickpeas. Now if you don’t care if you have super crunchy kale on top and you have vegetable broth on hand, skip my directions on making a pot of kale soup. I like the addition of sweet potatoes (they are fantastic with chickpeas)and I also like the cooked kale. You could also use fresh spinach to add at the end (and forget about sweet potatoes) of the cooking and vegetable broth. I just like the idea of having another soup on hand for another meal for the week and I like to use my own vegetable broth when I can.
Chickpea Stew with Kale and Sweet Potatoes
- 6 Tablespoons olive oil plus more for serving
- 1 large sweet onion chopped, divided in two
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled and diced in small chunks
- 4 carrots peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 1 small can of chopped tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable base
- 1 bunch of kale stems ribs discarded, leaves chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
- Yogurt I used unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add half of the onion, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 more minutes; season with salt and pepper.
- Add 3 quarts water, the vegetable base (or a bouillon cube) and the bay leaves. Bing to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low. Add the kale and simmer for about 30 minutes.
- In another large pot, heat the rest of the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the other half of chopped onion, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and starts to brown a little around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the turmeric, chickpeas and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together for a couple of minutes. Remove one cup of the chickpeas and place them in a small skillet; set aside. Keep cooking the chickpeas in the large pot another few minutes. With your wooden spoon, crush some of the chickpeas (this will help thicken the stew). Add the coconut milk and the broth from the other pot. Cook the stew for about 20-30 minutes.
- While the stew is cooking, in the small skillet on medium heat, cook up the other cup of the chickpeas. Don’t move them around too much. Let one side start to brown a little and then carefully turn over to the other side and cook that side up a few more minutes. The less you move them, the more whole crispy chickpeas you’ll have to serve on top. Check the seasoning. Add more salt and pepper to your taste. When you like the consistency of the stew, take out some kale and sweet potato from the other soup to add into the stew (or use fresh spinach).