Sunday, September 23, 2018

Chickpea, Summer Squash & Pepper Stew with Pesto: Easy Nigel Slater Comfort for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

Fall started this weekend, though you wouldn't know that from the weather. It is very warm and humid here and will be for the week but, lucky for me I work in a very air-conditioned office, making this vegan Chickpea, Summer Squash & Pepper Stew perfect for lunch. The veggie choice too--the summer squash and red pepper, plus the pesto (make or use a vegan version if you want to) on top, make this a good transition dish for the two seasons.

I slightly adapted a Nigel Slater recipe, doubling the chickpeas and making it somewhat more brothy to make it last for a few lunches. His simple recipe sketch from The Guardian is below with my changes in red.

Chickpea, Summer Squash & Pepper Stew with Pesto
Slightly Adapted from Nigel Slater via
(Serves 4

The Recipe:
Peel one red and one yellow onion and slice them as finely as you can. Warm a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep frying pan, then add the chopped onions. Cut one large Romano pepper (I used a red bell pepper + one pinch Aleppo pepper) into bite-sized pieces, removing any seeds and the core as you do it, then add the chunks to the onion and leave it to soften over a moderate heat.

Slice one large green and one large yellow courgette into slices not much thicker than a pound coin, then add the courgette to the onion and pepper in the pan and cook for 15 minutes or so, until soft. 

Rinse the contents of a 400g can of chickpeas (I used two 15oz cans), then stir into the vegetables and season carefully with salt and pepper. (Since I wanted to eat it as a soup/stew, I added 2 cups of light vegetable stock.) When all is warm and bubbling, serve in deep bowls, a trickle of oil over the surface of each, and eat with chewy sourdough bread.

The Trick:
If your courgettes produce too thin a juice, then turn up the heat and let the liquid reduce by half. It won’t thicken, but the flavours will concentrate. Good though this is, I rather like it piled on to toasted foccacia or ciabatta.

The Twist:
It is the sweet pan juices that make this dish worth making. Intensify them with a little garlic, basil leaves, a trickle of balsamic vinegar, a few capers or thyme leaves, or perhaps you would prefer a spoonful of basil pesto. You can also use this as a rough and ready pasta sauce, and fold in a few handfuls of cooked penne.

Notes/Results: This is a case of when a good soup--nice simple flavors and textures, goes to great with the addition of a topping or stir-in. The pesto (you can use store-bought or homemade) really adds that special touch and makes the veggies and beans sing. If you are eating bread, a piece would not be remiss here, but it is also fine without. I would happily make it again.

Linking this stew up to I Heart Cooking Clubs for Potluck Week. Our chance to make any recipe from our current or past IHCC chefs.

Lets take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen:

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared her Instant Pot or Not Cholent (Bean Stew) and said, "If you like beans, you will LOVE this amazing vegan cholent/chulent recipe that is made with a mixture of pinto beans, red kidney beans, and navy beans. The Instant Pot transforms an ancient recipe into modern times. ... Chulent or cholent is a old traditional Sabbath day meal that has been made for centuries by observant Jews. (Cholent recipes can be traced back to 1180 in Vienna). ... The word cholent is thought to be derived from the Medieval French word "chaud" meaning hot and "lent" meaning slow. Thus a slow cooking hot meal."

Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen shared this pasta salad and said "This Black Tapenade Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad is perhaps one of the laziest pasta salad recipes I have ever made - other than cooking the pasta, the rest was a breeze. ... I had made the black olive tapenade a few days back to go with the homemade sourdough bread. So was looking for other ways to use it up. So I ended up cooking some penne pasta. I threw in a good handful of red and golden yellow cherry tomatoes and lunch for work was made."

Mahalo to Judee and Shaheen for joining in this week!
About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. You wouldn't know it was Fall in California either, supposed to be in the 80s this week. Your soup looks really nutritious with lots of vegetables. I love pesto in soups.

  2. Finally posted a recipe I could share with Souper Sundays! :) I love the soup you posted. Need to go harvest some basil for pesto while I still can.

  3. That is one beautiful bowl of color, Deb! I love to see chickpeas used in various dishes and this one definitely changes things up a bit. I love the pesto on top!

    Also happy to see a black tapenade pasta salad in the SS roundup. I love tapenade, but have never thought to use it as a pasta dressing. I'll be trying that!


Mahalo for visiting and for leaving a comment. I love reading them and they mean a lot!

All advertising, spam, inappropriate (or just plain rude) comments will be promptly deleted. I do appreciate your right to free speech and to your opinion but I'm not into mean, rude, or mean snarky (non-mean snarky is just fine!) ;-)