Shelley’s recipes

Healthy family favourites from the Purchon household

Some stews don’t need meat to make them hearty. This vegan stew is mega healthy, packed with flavour and so easy to make.

One cold winter’s night I came home craving something home-made and warming, but without much energy to cook. I found this simple recipe on the internet (thanks, and it’s been a family favourite ever since. There are only two spices involved, but they deliver a lot of flavour.

This dish is full of prebiotic ingredients – that means fibre rich foods which feed the good bacteria in your microbiome. Spinach contains vitamin K, which is important for bone heath, and paprika, like many other spices, is full of anti-oxidants. Garlic and ginger are both anti-inflammatory.

Smoky potato chickpea stew

Serves 4

 Preparation and cooking time: 55 minutes


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 - 1 ½ tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500g new potatoes, cut into quarters (unpeeled)
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 2-3 mugs vegetable stock
  • 200-300g fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped.


Heat the oil in a large soup pan with a heavy base, and add the garlic, ginger and onion. Saute until transparent, about 5 minutes.  

Stir in the spices and cook gently for a further 1-2 minutes.

Stir in the tomato puree and tinned tomatoes, then add the potatoes, chickpeas and stock. Stir to combine, then bring them to a gentle boil with the lid. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 45 minutes, press the potatoes against the side of the pot to break them up a little, and stir in the spinach. As soon as it has wilted down, the stew is ready.

Serve with soured cream or plain yoghurt.

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