in the depths of winter – a vegan winter stew
~ Albert Camus
I read this heartbreakingly beautiful Camus quotation in the tagline of somebody’s email last week and have been thinking about it ever since.
It was a frigidly cold day when I found the quote – minus 14° Celsius with a stiff wind and a wind-chill factor that it made it feel more like minus 28°. But it was also searingly, starkly, bitterly beautiful. A bit like Camus’s writing.
I ventured into the cold and snow to take photographs but could not remove my gloves in order to operate my camera. Lake Ontario had not yet frozen and a deep, thick mist was hanging over the water. Off in the distance obscured through the mist, like an impressionist painting, was the ferry and nearby Wolfe Island with its wind turbines.
Even with my gloves on, standing on the edge of Lake Ontario, a high wind blowing towards me from across the water, my hands were soon too cold to keep taking photographs. I left reluctantly.
For those few moments standing there at the edge of the lake in frigid temperatures – entranced by beauty – I felt that invincible summer stirring within me.
This vegan potato, chickpea and artichoke stew is the perfect dish for cold winter nights. It’s relatively simple and fast to make and yet surprisingly delicious. Serve it with a green salad and perhaps some crusty rolls. The recipe comes from A Taste of Wintergreen. We’ve served it as a winter dish but it seems equally at home in the middle of summer with a couple of salads. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians – hard to beat that.
Chickpea, Potato, and Artichoke Casserole
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp paprika
10 fresh sage leaves, minced or 1 tsp dried sage
1 sprig rosemary, stem removed, leaves finely chopped or 1 tsp dried sage
4 cups organic vegetarian stock
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 large sweet potato, cooked, drained thoroughly and mashed dry (don’t add anything while mashing)
2-19 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and well-drained, or 3 cups cooked chickpeas, well-drained
1-14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until the onion is translucent. Stir in the curry powder, paprika, sage and rosemary.
Add the uncooked potato cubes and the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the mashed sweet potato. The mixture will instantly thicken. Add a little more stock or water if necessary, or if too liquid, continue cooking gently. Stir in the lemon juice.
Stir in the chickpeas and taste to correct seasonings. Allow another five minutes cooking time in order to heat the chickpeas through. Just before serving, add the chopped artichoke hearts and stir gently.
Serve in a covered casserole dish. Garnish with fresh sage.