Sweet potato and chickpea stew is packed with simple nutritious ingredients and loaded with warm spices. A hearty stew easy to make that's naturally vegan and gluten-free. Serve this vegetarian recipe on its own or over a whole grain like brown rice.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Comfort meal - similar to moroccan chickpea stew, this vegetarian sweet potato and chickpea stew is the perfect cozy comfort food for a weeknight dinner. It's a flavor-packed meal loaded with savory flavors that hits the spot on those chilly nights. A side of gluten free crusty bread and a few lime wedges rounds out this delicious meal.
Serve this sweet potato chickpea stew with a fluffy pile of white rice, brown rice, wild rice, or with a side of crunchy kale salad with spicy peanut vinaigrette. You also may want to try my spicy red lentil soup, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew with Spinach, and Cauliflower Chickpea Spinach Curry with Sweet Potato if you like a big bowlful of heartiness.
Key ingredients and substitutions
- Sweet potatoes add structure, heartiness, nice body and a subtle sweet balance to the soup. You can substitute butternut squash in its place for less sweetness. I would not swap for regular potatoes in this plant based recipe.
- Chickpeas give a boost of plant-based goodness. Swap in white beans or use a combination of the two.
- Curry powder adds a warming depth to the flavors like in many Indian recipes.
- Full fat coconut milk gives the soup a nice creaminess. Swap for coconut cream if you like it more creamy.
- Green peas add a pop of flavor.
- Grape tomatoes add a nice texture and pop of color. I like to use fresh tomatoes but a 14-ounce can of tomato stew or crushed tomatoes works well in this chickpea stew recipe.
- Onions or shallots work perfectly to build on flavor. Swap in sweet onions, yellow onions or red onions. It's about simple ingredients available at your local grocery stores.
- Filtered water works great because there are many other flavors already building in the soup. Go ahead and swap for a healthful broth like vegetable stock if you have some on hand.
- A squeeze of lemon juice will brighten the soup. Lime juice works well too. Make sure to add it to the end just before serving.
See recipe card below for all ingredients and quantities.
Expert tips and variations
Optional garnishes - at the end of cooking, fold in a handful of baby spinach, swiss chard or collard greens. Next time sprinkle a shower of herbs like fresh mint, fresh parsley or other fresh herbs you have on hand. Or add crushed red chili flakes, fresh chili, or jalapeño slices to finished dish.
Increase amount of flavor - like in other vegan stews or chickpea curry, bump up flavors with a teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger, sweet paprika, chili powder, ground cumin, red pepper flakes, indian spices like garam masala or other fresh spices. Or, add some heat with ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper with the curry powder. Grind whole spices for the best flavor, and be mindful of old spices that may have lost their potency.
Store - the soup can be stored in an airtight container, preferrably glass, in the fridge for up to 4 days. Best part is that in this kind of recipe, the flavors can be more intense the next day. The stew also freezes well for up to 3 days.
How to make hearty vegetable stew
- In a large pot or large pan over medium high heat (medium-high heat may cause the onions to burn), heat oil and add the onions. Cook, stirring until the onions have softened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the curry powder and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Careful not to burn. Lower heat to medium-low heat if necessary.
- Add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, water or broth and sea salt. Bring soup to a slow simmer and allow the flavors to blend and the sweet potatoes to soften, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
- Pour in the full-fat coconut milk, peas and tomatoes. Continue to cook until soup is heated through, about 5 minutes.
- Add a splash of lemon juice and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro and a grind of black pepper.
How to make slow cooker chickpea sweet potato stew (crock pot)
- Add the main ingredients to your slow cooker except the coconut milk, peas, tomatoes, lemon juice or any garnish.
- Cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
- Add in the coconut milk, peas, and tomatoes and stir.
- Cook an additional 15 minutes on high. Serve with lemon juice and herbs.
How to make instant pot chickpea sweet potato stew (pressure cooker)
- Add the ingredients together except for the coconut milk, peas, tomatoes, lemon juice or any toppings. Cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
- Open valve to quick release steam. Stir in coconut milk, peas and tomatoes, and let sit a couple minutes covered, until warmed through. Serve with lemon juice and herbs.
- (You can also sweat onions first with a teaspoon of olive oil. This will give you the best results).
Sweet potato and chickpea soup: FAQs
Pump up the spices by adding a ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper with the curry powder. You can also add crushed red chili flakes or fresh chili or jalapeño slices to the finished dish.
Adding less filtered water or broth (about 1 cup less) will leave you with a stew consistency. You can also cook the sweet potatoes longer so that they will break down and melt into the stew (about 10 minutes longer).
Toss in a handful or two of baby spinach, chopped kale or Swiss chard. Add this at the very end of cooking so they wilt but don't completely break down.
More delicious recipes to try
Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew
- 1 large pot or Dutch oven
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion (or two medium shallots), chopped
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1-inch dice (about 400 grams)
- 1 19-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups (1 litre) filtered water or vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk, full fat
- 2 cups (280 grams) fresh or frozen green peas
- 1 pint (300 grams) of grape tomatoes, halved, or 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Handful of fresh cilantro for garnish
- In a large pot over medium high heat, splash in the olive oil and add the onions. Cook, stirring until the onions have softened, about 3-5 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the curry powder and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Careful not to burn.
- Add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, filtered water and sea salt. Bring soup to a slow simmer and allow the flavors to blend and the sweet potatoes to soften, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.
- Pour in the coconut milk, peas and tomatoes. Continue to cook until soup is heated through, about 5 minutes.
- Add a splash of lemon juice and garnish with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro.