Chris HowardComment

Chickpea & Tomato Stew

Chris HowardComment
Chickpea & Tomato Stew

Chickpea and Tomato Stew

Prep time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cook time: 70 minutes

I apparently emailed this recipe to my sister on January 19th, 2010. I don't know when I sent it to one of my good friends, but I do remember his reply:

Where's the meat?

And I remember my internal response:

Come on dude! You don't have to eat meat all the time!

I created this recipe during one of the most frugal times in my life, and I do not know if you can get any more budget friendly than this one. I still make this chickpea and tomato stew at least a few times a year. Good things can come out of nothing though, right?

For this iteration of the recipe, I decide to include a fancier, although still budget friendly addition – lemon parsley oil. You can skip it, but I don't recommend that. You just need to buy a lemon and some fresh parsley. Having a microplane is key too, and if you don't already have one it is a great $15 investment. 

The one thing that is not optional is the bread. The best part is shoving some slices in the stew, waiting 10 seconds, and eating the broth soaked part of the bread. Then repeat, repeat, repeat. When you have soaked up most of the broth, it is time to pick up that spoon.

Fast forward to February 11th, 2018. That same friend texted me that he was cutting down on meat. Times change. 


  • You should get at least 4 bowls of stew out of this. Perhaps more depending on how much you eat. 
  • I like to eat this with a lot of bread. I like to sop up as much broth as I can with the bread and then I use my spoon to eat the rest. 
  • If you decide to skip the lemon parsley oil, I recommend a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil after you ladle the stew into your bowl. 


For the stew:

  • 1 large white or yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4" quarter moons
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided (plus a pinch)
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cumin
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • two 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • two 14.5 oz cans of chickpeas (no salt added)
  • neutral oil (vegetable or grapeseed)
  • filtered water (around 28 oz)

For the lemon parsley oil (optional):

  • 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 torn handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

    Mise en place

    (Set yourself up for success before you start cooking)

  • Cut the onion in half through the root. Slice off the tip off each half that is opposite the root end. Remove the skin and the outermost layer of onion from each half. Then slice each half in half, but don't cut through the root! Then thinly slice the onion. (see images below)

  • Peel the carrot. Cut into 1/4" quarter moons. 
  • Rinse the parsley. 
  • Rinse the lemon. 
  • Open the tomato cans
  • Open the chickpeas and rinse well in a colander/strainer


Step 1

Heat a pot over medium high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot, then add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cumin, and fresh ground black pepper. Cook for 3 minutes. 

Step 2

Add the carrot and stir. Cook for another 8 minutes or so until the onions are translucent. Keep in mind, the cumin has altered the color of the onions, but you should be able to notice that they are translucent. If you aren't using a garlic press, you should mince the garlic while the onions and carrots are cooking. 

Step 3

Add the garlic. Stir. Cook for 30 seconds. 

Step 4

Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt & freshly ground black pepper. Fill the tomato cans with filtered water and then pour the water in the pot. This will make sure you don't leave any tomato in the cans and should add enough liquid to cover everything. Stir well. 

Step 5

Turn heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. When it is boiling, reduce heat to medium low and keep covered. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Step 6

While everything is simmering, prepare the lemon & parsley oil (if you choose to make it). Finely chop the parsley and add it to a small bowl. Using a microplane, zest half of the lemon. Put the zest in the bowl with the parsley. Cut the lemon in half and juice the zested half of lemon. Put the juice in the bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil, a few cracks of black pepper and a pinch of salt. Stir well with a fork and set aside so that the flavors can marry. 

Step 7

After the stew has been simmering for 30 minutes, taste it. I find that it is easiest to taste if I ladle a small amount into a small bowl. Taste the broth, then eat a chickpea. I like my chickpeas to have no resistance when I bite into them, but if you like how it is now you could just season and stop. If you want to cook it how I like it, continue.

Step 8

Add more cracked black pepper, a pinch of salt, and another tablespoon of cumin. Simmer, covered, for another 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. 

Step 9

Ladle the stew into a bowl. Stir the lemon parsley oil well with a fork and then and spoon the oil generously over the stew. Put some sliced bread in the bowl. Enjoy.