I didn't bother with a photo as there's no way to really make a bowl of stew look photogenic. This is such an easy thing to make, and a batch will last several days to be served with potatoes, rice or flatbreads. You can skip the veggie sausages as they really only add a bit of texture. I had them, so I used them.
You Will Need:
1 lb. cooked chickpeas (or about 3 tins if you prefer to skip the cooking) skins removed
1 large, sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
5-6 large carrots, finely diced
(about) 1/4 cup olive oil (more or less to taste)
3-4 tablespoons Merguez spice (recipe follows at bottom, but commercial is fine if you can get it)
Water to cover
1 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking mushrooms
Veggie sausages, cooked according to package directions, and chopped
In a large, heavy stockpot heat the oil over medium heat and add the onions. Fry until softened, then add garlic and carrots. Cook a few minutes to soften then add Mergues spices and stir to coat. Add chickpeas and stir again. Cook for a minute or two to absorb spices. At this point, if it looks like the spices are burning, add a drop more oil if you wish. Add enough water to just cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook half covered while you prepare the mushrooms.
Heat the oil in a skillet, and add chopped mushrooms. Cook until all the water they give up is evaporated. You may wish to brown the mushrooms for deeper flavour. When this is done, add them to the pot of stew.
Leave the stew to cook until the liquid is reduced by about half. Gently mash with a potato masher (or a wooden spoon) until some of the chickpeas are crushed to thicken the stew. You don't want refried beans, so try not getting carried away with it. Most of the chickpeas should remain intact. Taste and adjust spices keeping in mind veggie sausages tend to be salty. I used a chorizzo style sausage from Light Life, a company out of Turner's Falls Mass. I am not being paid to endorse their products, but I do buy them and find them superior to the others on the market. They are a small company, and their products are more expensive than than the Con Agra products (they're gonna kick me out of Omaha for saying this as they're a major employer here) but I do think the quality is much, much better. They're also not filled with a bunch of genetically modified crap.
The sausages should be added near the end of the cooking time. Keep in mind that the stew will thicken as it cools, but resist the temptation to add more water until you re-heat it. Most likely, it won't need it.
This makes a tonne of stew that re-heats and even freezes well.
Merguez Spice Recipe:
1/4 cup sweet paprika
2 tablespoons ground fennel
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used chipotle because I like the smoky flavour)
4 teaspoons icing (powdered) sugar
Combine, pour into a jar and store in the fridge. I like to shake it up a bit before using as the spices settle. Having the spice results in finding all sorts of things to use it in. Lamb is the obvious thing if you eat it, but I frequently use it in soups, stews, and even eggs. It keeps a good long while, but odds are you'll use it up long before it would lose strength.