2poundschopped plum tomatoes, or 1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
1-2tablespoonssugar (to taste, will vary based on level of acidity and whether you use fresh or canned tomatoes)
3/4tspkosher salt (or to taste)
1/2teaspooncrushed red pepper flakes
2cupslow sodium vegetable broth or water
1tablespoontahini (substitute cashew butter or a few tablespoons plain non-dairy yogurt)
3cupscooked chickpeas (2 14.5-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
2teaspoonsred wine vinegar
cooked couscous, bulgur wheat, quinoa, brown rice, pita or other flatbread, or toast, for serving
fresh chopped parsley leaves, for serving (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion. Cook onion for five minutes, stirring now and then, or until the onion is soft and clear. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently and adding a tablespoon or two of water if the garlic starts to stick.
Add the tomatoes to the pot. If using canned whole peeled tomatoes, use a potato masher or the back of a large spoon to crush them well. Add 1 tablespoon sugar (more as needed) salt, coriander, cumin, red pepper flakes, cloves, and cinnamon. Cook the tomatoes, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until they're thickening up and very bubbly. Add the broth or water, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.
Stir in the tahini and use an immersion blender to blend the soup partially, so that some pieces of tomato are still visible but the mixture is thick and resembles a chunky soup (you can also transfer half of the mixture to a standing blender and blend till smooth, then return it to the pot).
Stir in the chickpeas and vinegar. Cook for another 5 minutes. Taste the stew and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve with a grain of choice and a sprinkle of parsley, if desired.
Leftover stew will keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge, and it can be frozen for up to 1 month.