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Chickpea Stew with Broccoli Pesto - Feeding a Family

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Photo credit: Elizabeth Cecil

Chickpea Stew with Broccoli Pesto:

Chickpea Stew:

Serves 6 to 8

Our kids are less suspicious of vegetables that are in soups and stews, so that is where I pack them in the most. I have found it important to finely chop the root vegetables, with the help of a food processor, and take time slicing the Swiss chard into fine ribbons. If a stew is hard for my guys to eat, then they get turned off quickly. The broccoli pesto topping is an added bonus of flavor and nutrition.

KIDS CAN: Kitchen helpers can wash the Swiss chard, tear the leaves from the stems, and then rip the leaves into small pieces.


3 tablespoons olive oil

3 to 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks

4 to 5 celery ribs, cut into large chunks

3 to 4 shallots, peeled

2 garlic cloves

Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

One 8-ounce can pureed tomatoes

1½ teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

5 Swiss chard leaves, thick stems removed, cut into fine ribbons

Juice of 1 lemon

Broccoli Pesto (recipe follows)


1. Warm the olive oil in a soup pot set over medium heat. While the pot warms, whiz the carrots, celery, shallots, and garlic in a food processor to form a fine paste. Add the vegetable mixture to the pot and sauté for 10 minutes, until soft.
2. Add the chickpeas, broth, tomatoes, salt, a few grinds of black pepper, the thyme, and the bay leaf to the pot. Bring the stew to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft and the broth is slightly thickened.
3. Add the chard ribbons to the stew and cook for 10 minutes more. Before serving, remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf, then squirt in the lemon juice. Serve the stew with dollops of broccoli pesto and crusty bread.

    Broccoli Pesto:

    Makes about 2 cups

    This is a versatile, nutrient-packed condiment to have on hand. It tastes best warm, tossed with pasta, folded into scrambled eggs, or stirred into boiled potatoes.

    KIDS CAN: Older children can whiz all the broccoli pesto ingredients together.


    2 cups bite-size broccoli florets

    2 small or 1 large garlic clove

    1 lightly packed cup fresh basil leaves

    ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

    ½ cup grated Romano cheese

    Squirt of freshly squeezed lemon juice

    Kosher salt, to taste


    1. Steam the broccoli florets in a steamer basket set atop a pot of boiling water for about 7 minutes or until just fork-tender, not mushy. Drain well.
    2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the steamed broccoli, garlic, basil, olive oil, cheese, lemon juice, and a big pinch of salt. Whiz until everything is combined. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Extra broccoli pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days. It is best eaten warm or at room temperature.

      Recipe creator: Sarah Waldman, Feeding a Family.

      40 seasonal meals, 100 recipes, and loads of tips and strategies to make weeknight dinners work
      Reclaim the family dinner! In Feeding a Family, nutritionist and mom Sarah Waldman lays out all the tools you need to break out of the mealtime rut and turn dinner into a nutritionally fulfilling and happy occasion—despite busy schedules, long work days, and picky eaters. Through forty complete meals, you’ll discover hearty dinners the whole family will love.


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      Week 4 Recipes can be found HERE.