Kale and Chickpea Stew 3.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Dinner in Minutes Apr 18, 2012

This vegan stew is filling, aromatic and easy to make, with one more positive aspect: It's gluten-free. Tuck into a bowlful while the weather's still cool in the evening. Leftovers are good cold.

It's fine on its own, but we liked it on top of warm polenta even better.

Servings: 3 - 4
  • 1 bunch (12 ounces) kale
  • 2 or 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 4 to 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seed (may substitute ground cumin)
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Two 15-ounce cans no-salt-added chickpeas, with their liquid
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
  • 1 lemon
  • Leaves from about 6 stems cilantro


Trim the stems from the kale leaves and discard (or reserve for another use). Cut the tomatoes into chunks or coarsely chop, depending on your preference. Finely chop the onion to yield 1 cup. Chop the garlic to yield 2 tablespoons.

Bring the cup of water to a boil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale leaves and toss until they have wilted. Drain (without squeezing) and coarsely chop.

Wipe out the skillet. Add the oil and swirl to coat; place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and tomatoes; cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times, then crumble in the saffron threads. Add the paprika, coriander, cumin seed and cloves, stirring to incorporate. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the chickpeas and their liquid. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring, then add the chopped kale and the salt. Reduce the heat to medium; cook for 10 minutes, using tongs to incorporate the kale. Stir occasionally; the liquid should be barely bubbling and the stew should be fragrant and evenly seasoned. Add water if you prefer a looser mixture, making sure the liquid in the pan returns to barely bubbling before you add the next ingredient.

Cut the lemon in half and squeeze 2 tablespoons of juice into the pan, taking care not to let any seeds fall in. Coarsely chop the cilantro to yield 3 tablespoons. Stir them both into the stew. If desired, use a potato masher to crush some of the chickpeas. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Divide among individual bowls; serve hot.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "The No Gluten Solution: Cooking for Family and Friends," by Sheryl Goldstein (GF Solutions LLC, 2011).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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Email questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.