Homemade butternut pumpkin and chickpea stew with kale and feta cheese

Sep 04, 2021
This homemade butternut pumpkin and chickpea stew is a flavour sensation! Source: Getty Images

When I think of stews, I picture rich meat-laden, potato-filled meals, slow-cooked in deep casserole pots and served with rice or crusty bread. I don’t think of light, fresh, vegetable stuffed meals with a huge depth of flavour, which is what this butternut pumpkin and chickpea stew with baby spinach and feta delivers!

It’s based on a North African-style dish. You’ll find it contains at least three of your daily five, and is an inexpensive way of feeding a family.

You could swap the feta for cheddar or gruyere if you prefer a lighter flavour. And if you don’t like kale, swap for baby spinach. The spices here are just enough, in my opinion.

Serves 4-6.


  • 4 tomatoes, halved
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 1L vegetable stock
  • 100g feta, crumbled
  • 1 lemon, zested, then cut into wedges
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 200g Tuscan kale (also known as black kale or Cavalo nero), shredded


  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan-forced. Put tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, drizzle over 2 tablespoons olive oil, season and roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until soft. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, pour 2 tablespoons oil into a large saucepan and add the pumpkin, thyme, garlic and onion. Season generously and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften (but not brown).
  3. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, bay, ground spices and harissa. Season to taste and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-35 minutes until the liquid has reduced.
  4. Put feta in a small bowl and add remaining olive oil and lemon zest. Mix well and set aside.
  5. Toast fennel seeds in a frying pan for 1 minute, then lightly crush with a pestle and mortar (or in a zip lock bag with the back of a rolling pin).
  6. Add Tuscan kale to the stew and cook for 2 minutes. Put the stew in a bowl and top with a scoop of feta, a sprinkling of fennel seeds, and some seasoning. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

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