A simple, flavourful, slowcooked stew that goes well with fresh tortilla chips (as shown here), bread, socca or other accompaniments. This makes enough for 4 medium bowls or 2 large ones.
1/2 cup dried chickpeas
2 cups water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu, about 2″
1 Italian eggplant (about 1 1/2 cups), ends trimmed, halved and sliced, 1/3″
1 medium zucchini (about 2 cups), ends trimmed, halved and sliced, 1/4″
1 large sweet onion (about 2 cups), trimmed, peeled, quartered and sliced, 1/3″
4 medium cremini mushrooms (about 1 cup), trimmed and sliced, 1/8″
1/2t coarse sea salt (or to taste)
2 cups vegetable stock
2 medium red potatoes (about 2 cups), 1/2″ dice
1 cup tomato passata (or puree)
2T fresh garlic, minced
1T smoked paprika
1/4t dried red chilis (or similar/to taste)
1T dried herbes de Provence (or similar), rubbed
2 cups flat-leaf parsley, minced (1/4 cup reserved for garnish)
1T tapioca flour dissolved in 1T cold water
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
Optional: Other beans will work with this, but be mindful of differences in cooking time. Add some olives, nut butter or oil for additional richesse and flavour. You can replace the tapioca with arrowroot powder or cornstarch, but arrowroot is not as sturdy and cornstarch requires a higher temperature to thicken.
For a chunkier, brothier stew. slowcook the chickpeas until they’re soft, and add everything from the eggplant to the herbes de Provcence at the same time. The flavours won’t be as blended, but this will shorten the cooking time as a whole.
Either add your chickpeas to your slowcooker and cook for about 2 hours on high to soften, or let them soak in cool water overnight in a covered bowl. Drain the water, but reserve the kombu.
Return the chickpeas to the slowcooker, add the ingredients up to and including the stock. Cook for 4 hours on low heat or until the chickpeas are soft (remove the kombu at this point).
Add the potatoes and everything else up to and including the herbes de Provence. Slow cook another 2 hours or so until the potatoes are fork tender. Increase the heat to high if necessary for your slowcooker (you know it better than I do).
When the potatoes are tender, add the parsley. Add the tapioca mixture and stir to distribute evenly. Increase heat to high and cook until the stew thickens, stirring periodically.
Once the tapioca thickens, turn off the heat. Add the nutritional yeast, and stir to combine. Let stand 5 minutes or so to cool. Season to taste. Ladle out, garnish with reserved parsley and serve.