I like to make huge batches of soups and stews, especially in the fall and winter, and freeze them in empty peanut butter jars. It’s super comforting in my lazier moments to be able to grab something out of the freezer for lunch or dinner, plus it’s a lot cheaper than getting take-out, which is my main tendency in these lazy moments. And generally healthier.
This stew is really easy to put together, very hearty and filling and vegan. It’s also very inexpensive to make, mostly coming from tins of things in the pantry. The generous olives and garlic make it especially rich and briny. I like to make it fairly spicy, but feel free to ramp up or down the chili flakes to your liking. Ladle over some fluffy (and practically instant) couscous for a real quick dinner. It’s easy to scale this recipe up or down, I like to make a huge vat for freezing but you can easily halve or double this.
chickpea and olive stew:
4 large tins chickpeas
4 tins whole tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup mixed olives
1 whole bulb garlic, peeled and smashed
1 shallot, very finely sliced
1-2 tsp crushed chili flakes
2 tbs olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
½ cup parsley chopped
Saute garlic, chili flakes and shallot in oil until fragrant and beginning to colour. Add tomatoes cook for a few more minute. Add stock and about half the olives. Reduce heat to low and cook for about an hour, or until the stew is thick and tomatoes are broken down. Add lemon juice and remaining olives and cook for about 5 more minutes. Serve with couscous and lots of parsley sprinkled on top.
Note: to cook couscous, combine equal volumes dry couscous and boiling water in a pot. Cover with a lid and steam about 10 minutes. If you have stock, use that instead of water. Otherwise throw a bouillon cube in there. I like to add crushed chili flakes, dried minced garlic and parsley flakes. A glug of olive oil or a pat of butter wouldn’t go amiss here.