Spicy Summer Chickpea Stew with Roasted Carrots, Spinach and Za’atar

This hardy, spicy chickpea stew is adapted from Hetty McKinnon's new cookbook Neighborhood.    There was very little that I changed, but since it's summer, feel free to make this with fresh finely chopped tomatoes instead of the puree. I think it would taste fantastic and fresh. You could probably get away with simmering the chickpeas for less time if you're in more of a rush, or don't want to heat your home for an extended period of time.  

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

For the red pepper paste:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil (80g)
  • 1 red onion , roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 red bell peppers , deseeded and roughly diced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

For the chickpea stew:

  • 2 cups tomato puree or passata (500g)
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • Two 15oz cans chickpeas (750g), drained
  • 10 small carrots (about 1 3/4 lbs/800 g), peeled
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves , washed thoroughly
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves , roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar
  • sea salt and black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C).
  2. To make the red pepper paste, put the oil, onion, garlic, tomato paste, cayenne pepper, paprika, red capsicums and sea salt in a food processor and blitz.
  3. In a large pan, add the red pepper paste and fry over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the tomato passata, sugar, chickpeas and 250 ml (1 cup) of water. Bring to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook over a very low heat for 1 hour, stirring from time to time and adding water as needed to maintain a sauce-like consistency (the sauce needs to thicken without the chickpeas becoming dry). When ready, leave to cool.
  4. Place the carrots on a large baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 40 minutes, or until the carrots are tender and starting to turn golden.
  5. To serve, spoon the chickpeas onto a large serving dish, scatter over the baby spinach, and arrange the carrots on top. To finish, sprinkle over the herbs and za'atar.
If you make this, tag @phoebelapine and #feedmephoebe - I'd love to see it!