Chickpea and vegetable dumpling stew is loaded with amazing chickpeas, wholesome veggies and brimming with homemade garlicky-chive dumplings – all in a rich, creamy gravy. Welcome to one of our all-time favorite recipes!
We’ll be using several ingredients to make our big pot of this loaded vegan dumpling stew. The good news is that none of them stretch beyond your everyday’ groceries. That’s the stuff you can find at the local market. Seriously, the most exotic thing are probably the chives.
Eating the elephant - it's a step at a time
Admittedly, a stew with chickpeas (ok, those are easy), with veggies (a bit of chopping, that alright) and homemade dumplings (just another step) might seem involved, but it really just takes a few extra steps. Maybe it isn't as simple as a few of my other favorite loaded dishes such as loaded tempeh stew, but if you take it in sequential steps, it's a breeze. So, it's important to keep in mind as you get started making this decadently healthy stew is that this is a recipe best made in stages. There are five to be exact:
- Dumpling creating
- Veggie sautéing
- Gravy making
- Dumpling cooking
- Stew finishing
Step 1 – Dumpling creating
Dumplings are really just thick hunks of noodles. I love making homemade dumplings because they don’t need to be perfect and they are somewhat indestructible in cooking terms. You’ll be making a simple dough with flour, baking powder, garlic powder, salt, plant milk and chives. That’s it. No kneading or time to rise required. Just mix all the dry ingredients, add the plant milk and chives and get it into a ball that can be rolled flat without being too sticky.
The uniqueness of dumplings
It you are a perfectionist, stash those thoughts before you start cutting the dumplings. I refuse to toss any of the dough and so should you. This means you might end up with a few scraggly dumplings. They're homemade after all, and that’s what makes this dish so much fun.
Step 2 - Veggie sautéing
When I called this vegetable and dumpling stew, I wasn't discounting the veggies by any means. We are definitely veg loading for this one, but when you add them is important. Thus, our second stage is simply sautéing the onion, celery and carrots and then adding the garlic and broccoli. Just enough cooking just to get the broccoli semi-cooked. This is the part where you might get creative and add a different veggie or two (thinking cauliflower or even corn).
Step 3 – Gravy making: No lumps allowed!
I think the trickiest part of chickpea dumpling stew is getting the gravy smooth. Pull out your whisk, because you’ll need it. Years ago (ok decades ago), my mom taught me to mix flour and water before adding them to the pan to make gravies and sauces. I still practice that today. Thanks mom.
The two tricks I’ve learned about making smooth flour-based gravies beyond that is to not let the pan get too hot and to whisk, whisk, whisk and whisk some more. Don’t give up when you make gravies and sauces because they ‘always come out lumpy’. There have been so many times that I’ve thought – ‘this is a scratch’ when I look down and see little flour lumps mocking me. Keep whisking. Who’s mocking now?
Step 3 – Dumpling cooking: In the pot go you
I fell in love with this comforting combination of chickpeas, veggies and dumplings after my first taste (and I'm just referring to the tasting part). Since that first attempt thought, I have picked up a few best practices along the way and here’s a big one. When it comes to dumpling cooking – take your time! Seriously, nothing will overcook if you just slow down and put in a few dumplings at a time. Too many in the pot and they clump together. I know of what I speak.
Another seriously important reason to slow down is that you will have a bit pot of sauce simmering when you start adding your dumplings. Hot sauce splashing on your hand is not pleasant. Yes, I know of what I speak.
Step 4 – Stew finishing
I love the finishing part because it’s such a breeze and because we are getting closer to the eating part. Don’t worry once you add all your veggies and the chickpeas in the big pot. It will seem like a lot (with a bit more to come), but they will cook down. You can always add a bit of broth if you think it’s getting too thick. And those dumplings? Not to worry, they go with the flow and won’t be overcooked.
After allowing the veggies to cook for a few minutes, I just tossed in the herbs, peas and kale as a final step. The kale just needs wilt a bit and the peas, to heat through. If you’re using spinach in place of the kale, it will take even less time.
I can’t say enough about the cooking satisfaction you get when you place big bowls of heaped with chickpea, veggies and your special dumplings. Seriously proud. Bringing this dish together is easy, but it looks like you’re a master chef. And that feels good. The ultimate satisfaction, however, comes from that first bite and beyond. It’s heavenly. You’ll be looking forward to the leftovers and fortunately, your effort pays off – a great big pot that can be served up as another meal, toted along for lunch on the go (to the envy of all your friends) and even frozen.
I’m a lefty – by this I mean, I’m lefthanded and left brained. Seriously, I was a math teacher for several years. I loved teaching the sequential, the methodical, the clear steps you take that lead you to your goal. This is not to suggest that us ‘lefties’ can’t cut loose and be creative, we just tend to like more organized creativity. That’s me.
Back to that elephant
How does this relate to making chickpea and vegetable dumpling stew, you ask? It relates to that worn out adage about eating an elephant one bite at a time. Although, I’d certainly never be inclined to eat an elephant, when taking on a complicated task, like a multiple-step recipe, you have a choice. Get overwhelmed looking ahead or have a quick read, gather your ingredients and start with step one. Don’t worry about what’s next or how it might go all wrong. Just start. You’ll be amazed at how the accomplishment of each step builds your confidence to reaching your goal. Peace.Print
chickpea and vegetable dumpling stew
Chickpea and vegetable dumpling stew is loaded with healthy veggies, homemade garlic-chive dumplings and rich gravy for a comforting plant-based meal.
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- Yield: 10-12 servings 1x
- Category: Soups & Stews
- Cuisine: American
- 2 cups flour (If you go for whole wheat, make sure it’s finely ground)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ cup chives, chopped
- ½ - 1 cup plant milk
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 small broccoli crown, chopped into small florets
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup white wine or vegetable broth (in addition to the 10 cups below)
- 10 cups veggie broth
- 2- 15 oz (400 gm.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups frozen green peas
- 4 cups chopped kale
- ¼ cup chopped chives
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- In a medium bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, garlic powder and salt. Mix in ¼ cup chopped chives. Start adding the plant milk with ¼ cup and a tablespoon at-a-time thereafter, until you have a dough that will form a ball but is still a bit sticky. Your goal is to lay it on a floured surface and roll it out.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough to about ¼ to ⅛-inch thickness (thin crust pizza). Cut the dumplings into strips about 1 x 1 ½ inches. Some pieces will look odd – that’s what give this the ‘homemade’, non-processed look we’re going for. You can even reroll the scraps and cut them. Waste as little as possible.
- Place the cut dumplings on a lightly floured plate (add a little flour in between layers) and place it into the fridge.
- Heat a big soup pot to medium and add the chopped onions. Sauté the onions for about 5 minutes until they start to brown. Add water a tablespoon at-a-time if they start to stick. Add the carrots and celery and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the carrots start to soften a bit.
- Add the broccoli florets and garlic and continue sautéing for another 3 minutes (the broccoli will start to turn a brighter green).
- Turn off the heat and transfer the veggies to a bowl. Set aside. Don’t worry if there are bits of onion and veg left in the pot. This will serve as flavor layer for the sauce.
- Mix all the dry spices (2 Tbp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. garlic powder, ½ tsp. black pepper and ½ tsp. cayenne) in a small dish.
- Measure out the 10 cups of veggie broth so you have it ready.
- In a small bowl or cup, whisk together ½ cup flour with 2 cups of the veggie broth. Make sure you have a paste that is lump free and a bit runny.
- Heat the soup pot back up and add the flour mixture. Whisk it constantly until the paste is a bit thicker.
- Add the spices and continue whisking for another minute.
- Now, add ½ cup wine or broth. Continue whisking for another 30 seconds until everything is combined and the mixture is smooth. You want your flour mixture thinner at this point.
- Keep whisking and start adding the remaining broth a few cups at a time until you’ve added it all and the gravy is thinner and smoother, and the gravy is slowing simmering.
- Remove the dumplings from the fridge and check that your gravy is at a simmer. Start adding the dumplings a few at a time. As they cook, they will float to the top. This is where you need to really take your time. Your dumplings are hearty – they won’t overcook because you aren’t quick enough. Be careful here that you don’t splash the hot sauce on your hands as you add more dumplings. Use a spoon to clear a dumpling-free path to keep adding. Stir the dumplings as you add them, so they don’t clump together.
- When you have added all the dumplings, give the pot a good stir to ensure that none of them are clumping together, making sure the pot is still simmering as you go.
- Add the sautéed vegetables and chickpeas, simmer for another 10 minutes until the dumplings are cooked through (this means you will need to taste one or too, poor you).
- Add the remaining chives, basil, green peas, kale. Cook until the peas are warm, and the kale is wilted.
- Serve in big bowl with any leftover chives as a garnish.
- If you make the dumplings a day ahead, stack them in an airtight container. Be sure to add flour in between the layers. Store them in the fridge for up to 2 days. You can also sauté the veggies and store them in the fridge for later use.
- I usually reheat this stew on the stovetop. Add ½ to 1 cup veggie broth so that the sauce is not too thick.
- If you want to change the flavor profile a bit, consider adding fresh chopped oregano. Try adding a tablespoon to the dumpling dough or ¼ cup when you finish the dish and add the remaining chives and basil.
Keywords: chickpea and vegetable dumpling stew