Spiced Pumpkin Chickpea Stew for #ElleAPalooza


Pumpkin Chickpea Stew

I’m following up last week’s post with my official contribution to #ElleAPalooza.  Today’s post is a recipe for Spiced Pumpkin Chickpea Stew, inspired by Elle of Elle’s New England Kitchen.  As a tribute to my friend, LeeAnn (a/k/a Elle), I’m joining with a number of other food bloggers who count her as friend, in picking a recipe from her blog this weekend, and cooking or baking our own version of it.

For me, this wasn’t a new concept.  Elle inspired me all the time. Sometimes I blogged about it, but usually I didn’t.  Here are some Maple Blueberry Muffins that I adapted from one of her recipes, to add more whole grains and cut the sugar.  Most recently, I took her “Copycat Campbell Tomato Soup” recipe, and made it into Vegetarian Vegetable Soup with Mini-Grilled Cheese Croutons.  And she cheered me on, every step of the way.

This stew was cooked on Thursday. I photographed the leftovers (like all stews, this one only gets better with age) last night (Saturday). I edited the photos this morning.  I’ve been procrastinating writing this post as long as I can. I feel like, once I click the “Publish” button, it’s final. It’s real. Elle’s gone, and with her, her original voice and enthusiasm for cooking and baking, and her passion to motivate her readers to dare try something new in the kitchen. But I know she isn’t really gone. Elle lives on the hearts of those who love her, and you can still hear her voice in her blog and the blogs of all of us participating in our #ElleAPalooza.  See the list at the bottom of this post, to see who else is blogging #ElleAPalooza, and what inspired them!


Spiced Pumpkin Chickpea Stew

Adapted from Spiced Pumpkin Chickpea Stew at Elle’s New England Kitchen


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large leek (or 2 smaller ones), white & light green parts only
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 large red potatoes
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 egg yolks*
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 (15 oz) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • (about) 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 freshly ground chipotle chili (Or chile. Fine.) *
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup milk*
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste


Start out by prepping your vegetables. Cut off the dark green top of the leek and discard. Slice the leek lengthwise and rinse well. Slice the halves thinly in half-rounds.  Peel and smash the garlic cloves, then mince them.  Scrub the potatoes and cut them into a roughly 1/2″ dice.

Heat the olive oil in a 6 quart soup or stock pot, over medium-high heat. Add all of the vegetables, sprinkle with a good pinch of kosher salt. Stir and sweat the vegetables, cooking until the leeks are softened, about 5 – 10 minutes.  Add the chickpeas, vegetable broth and pumpkin. Stir well and bring the mixture up to a gentle simmer.

Measure the yogurt into a medium bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks and the turmeric until well combined and the mixture is very liquid.  Slowly add the yogurt mixture to the simmering pot, stirring well.  Add the spices, honey, and milk.

Simmer for an additional 10 minutes.  Check the potatoes for doneness.  Taste to see if you need to add any additional salt and/or pepper.  When the potatoes are firm, but completely cooked through, you’re ready to serve.

Makes about 4-6 main dish servings.  Serve hot with a little crusty bread and a green salad, and you’ve got a complete, filling and satisfying meal.


*Notes – I’m not married to the inclusion of egg yolks in this recipe. The chickpeas give you plenty of protein, and between the yogurt, pumpkin, and cooking the potatoes directly in the stew, you’ve got lots of thickening power, so skip the yolks if you want to.  If it’s still not thick enough for you, give it a couple of smacks with your handy-dandy stick blender, or if you don’t have one of those, a potato masher. But not too much! You want lots of whole chickpeas and potato chunks in there for texture.

Elle’s version of this recipe contained curry powder and adobo powder for spicing. Both of these are spice blends (one Indian, the other Mexican/Latin) which, between them, also contain cumin, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, and some form of hot pepper.  Which is kind of redundant.  So, I merely broke down these two spice blends, increasing the amounts of some of the individual spices, and added the paprika (contained in adobo), rather than make you go looking for something else at the store.  If you don’t have dried chipotle, feel free to use some other chile (chili) or its powder form that you do have.  Or none at all.  It’s not about the heat – it’s about flavor!


This part stolen blatantly from Heather over at He Cooks She Cooks, who stole it from Jenn over at Leftover Queen:  If you would like to join the food blogging community in supporting Elle’s family, please join Friends of Elle on Facebook to learn more about the auction be held to benefit her family. It is also a place where you can share your thoughts about Elle and gather with friends old and new who all loved this beautiful woman.

Other Blogs Participating in #ElleAPalooza

He Cooks She Cooks
Taste as you Go
Kudos Kitchen
Gourmet Traveller 88
Leftover Queen
Leftover Queen post 2
SpaBettie Post 2
The Spiced Life
Food Lust People Love
Girl Chef
All That’s Left are the Crumbs
Savory Moments
The Feast Within
A-Z Cookbook
Vanilla Sugar Blog
Creative Culinary
Zebot’s Kitchen
Dine and Dish
The Adventures of Kitchen Girl
And Then I Do The Dishes
No Fear Entertaining
Mommy? I’m Hungry!
Baking and Boys
Flanboyant Eats

This entry was posted in #ElleAPalooza, chickpeas, chipotle, Indian food, Mexican, potatoes, pumpkin, stew, Uncategorized, vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Posted February 9, 2014 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    When you reached the end of your post you must have felt as emotionally whipped as me huh?

    I understand your hesitation in wanting to not have this post or rather the reason for it complete. It is why I didn’t even pick the muffins out till yesterday I suppose.

    But I figure she wouldn’t want us to hesitate or dilly dally or not carry on. I almost feel like she is nudging (ok pushing) me to keep on. I bet she is you too.

    • RJ Flamingo
      Posted February 9, 2014 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      You’re right, Heather. I am drained. I want a nap. But, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to get my ass up, make some coffee, and start dinner. Thank you for commenting. You know what? She would have been first. She almost always was my first commenter. xox

  2. Posted February 10, 2014 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    So beautifully written, Renee.

    • RJ Flamingo
      Posted February 10, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Renée. Your post really touched me. :-)

  3. Posted February 10, 2014 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    what I found hard was writing up the post…
    i swear i keep looking for stuff in my FB newsfeed from Elle…a video, a link, a silly comment to me about my surfing obsession.
    it was hard to write mine up knowing she’s gone…gone. you know?
    a part of me did not want to participate; i just don’t want her gone.

    • RJ Flamingo
      Posted February 10, 2014 at 2:17 am | Permalink

      You and me, both, Dawn. If my post sounds a little subdued, it’s because I didn’t want to turn into a soggy mess. Again. I have to limit how many of other people’s posts I read at a time, too. I start tearing up all over again!

  4. Posted February 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    The stew sounds great! Your ElleAPalooza was such a lovely idea, it sounds like she was really special.

    • RJ Flamingo
      Posted February 10, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. Elle was very special and will be missed. Thank you for always being so supportive, Jayne. :)

  5. Posted February 14, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Hee hee! So glad I didn’t do this one, cuz I sure considered it! Looove me some chickpea and pumpkin. We add calabaza to our garbanzos but it’s never been a highlight the way Elle did! Nice rendition in memory of :)

  6. Posted February 15, 2014 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    This is lovely and all of the bloggers who are joining in is so heartwarming. It is hard to lose a friend and it seems that she was kind of your mentor too. You honor her in that you are living your passion…. hugs..Michelle

    • RJ Flamingo
      Posted February 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Michelle.

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