First things first – thank you very much to everyone who responded to my cookbook cover announcement with such kind messages! It was overwhelming and so, so sweet. I don’t have a physical copy yet but I’ll share more closer to the release date.
Let’s talk about this stew! With just five main ingredients plus spices and optional greens, this is a real bare fridge kind of meal. I almost always have canned tomatoes and carrots, plus frozen chickpeas (canned works too – see substitutions).
If you have frozen greens or some over-wintering in the garden, they’re a very nice addition, but not mandatory. The original recipe didn’t include them and that’s the one change I’ve made here. It makes for a slightly more balanced meal but is just as good without.
Plenty of spice adds interest to what would otherwise be a very boring meal – cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and more. You can switch this up based on your preference, but all pair wonderfully with both carrots and tomatoes. So if you’re staring into a mostly empty refrigerator at five o’clock, I’ve got you covered!
Scroll to the bottom of the post or click “skip to recipe” above to see the recipe card with full ingredient measurements and instructions.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent and fragrant. Add the carrots and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper, coating the carrots in the spices. Cook for about 30 seconds.
Add the tomatoes and water to the pot. Stir in the chickpeas, cover, and increase the heat to bring to a rolling boil.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are knife-soft. Taste and season as needed.
Remove the stew from the heat and stir in the greens, if using. Serve hot with brown rice or naan, topped with pomegranate, preserved lemon, and/or raisins.
Tips and Notes
Serve with brown rice or vegan naan for an even more filling meal. While this stew is very good on its own, some whole grains never hurt.
If they’re canned, soaking your chickpeas for a few minutes after rinsing them will help pull out some of the salt. Just rinse them again after soaking. (I cook big batches of beans a couple times a month and freeze in jars, which is why I usually call for cooked rather than canned – much cheaper.)
This freezes very well and keeps for at least a month when frozen. If you like to cook ahead, you can easily double the amount and freeze for later. The card says this serves four but it makes three Graham-sized servings in my house, and then I usually freeze the extra one.
Try sweet potato or pumpkin for the carrots, if that’s what you have on hand. You can also add extra root vegetables, like parsnips, celeriac, and even potatoes.
Switch up the spices based on your preference. You may want to reduce the cayenne pepper if you don’t like heat – but you can also change the flavours. Try adding cardamom or ground ginger, or add a little fresh ginger along with the garlic.
Other legumes can be used in place of chickpeas, with white beans being the easy favourite. You could use red lentils in a pinch (use half the amount compared to chickpeas, and double the water).
I like to top with pomegranate, and preserved lemon is a nice addition if you have them. Just be sure not to add too much salt to the stew in that case as the lemon will provide it. Raisins are delicious if you still want a pop of sweetness and don’t have pomegranate.
More Easy Dinners
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- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
- 3 medium carrots, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 400 ml (13.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
- 175 ml (1/2 cup) water or vegetable broth
- 300 grams (1 1/2 cups) cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained*
- 50 grams (2 cups) hardy greens (spinach, kale, rucola, etc.), optional
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent and fragrant. Add the carrots and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper, coating the carrots in the spices. Cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add the tomatoes and water to the pot. Stir in the chickpeas, cover, and increase the heat to bring to a rolling boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the carrots are knife-soft. Taste and season as needed.
- Remove the stew from the heat and stir in the greens, if using. Serve hot with brown rice or naan, topped with pomegranate, preserved lemon, and/or raisins.
- Leftovers freeze very well and can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to three days.
* If they're canned, soaking your chickpeas for a few minutes after rinsing them will help pull out some of the salt. Just rinse them again after soaking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 220Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 482mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 14gSugar: 9gProtein: 11g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.
This post was originally published in December 2014. It has been updated most recently as of January 2020, with new images, text, and some minor recipe tweaks.