in the depths of winter – a vegan winter stew

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

~ 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.


chickpea potato artichoke casserole5This 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

Serves 4-6

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.


14 thoughts on “in the depths of winter – a vegan winter stew

    1. Tracey – it is surprising this winter – colder and snowier than our winters of late – but also so much lovelier. At least for the moment….! This too will come to pass…
      enjoy your mild temperatures – fun to see that you are still in the garden and gathering mussels.

  1. This sounds right up my street. Certainly as all of the ingredients go. Especially love artichokes at this time of year. Unfortunately, I can’t find Jerusalem artichokes here. Shame, as they’re so good in soups.

    1. Oh – I must find some Jerusalem artichokes and give them a try! Never tried them but LOVE regular artichokes – one of my favourites along with good cheese, good chocolate, good bread… olives, figs….hmmmm – these are a few of my favourite things! *goes off whistling*

  2. Anne and I made this for dinner last night. So delicious and so easy. I will add it to my list of comfort foods.
    When one of my grandsons was introduced to chickpeas, about the same time he was building vocabulary, “chickpeas” didn’t relate so he called them “chicken peas”. Cute, but I guess it wouldn’t be vegan if you made it with chicken peas.

  3. I seem to have missed some notifications…what a lovely thought and a lovely recipe. We’re getting a blast of air from your way after unseasonably warm weather.Stay cozy!

      1. I have to say that except for a few days here and there,it has been ridiculously warm here; my iris and daffodils have been growing, as have the dandelions. It is very cold today and we are supposed to get pretty low the next few nights…and you can bet, with this weather, the cooking goes on and on…if only to add extra heat in the house!

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