Moroccan Chickpea and Vegetable Stew

This spicy and versatile vegetable dish gets its Moroccan flair from a medley of aromatic spices that combine to create Ras El Hanout, a popular Middle Eastern blend. The name translates loosely to “top of the shop,” and can traditionally include anywhere from 10 to 100 spices representing the favorites of each individual spice merchant in the marketplace. As a result, no two are the same, although you can generally expect all to include things like ginger, cardamom, coriander, mace, turmeric, anise, cayenne, nutmeg, and cinnamon. You can make your own blend, but it’s also become rather easy to find in specialty spice shops. Ras El Hanout adds great flavor to tagines, soups, and stews, like this one here.

Hope you enjoy this hearty stew, either on its own or served over some quinoa or brown rice. You can also feel free to add/substitute other vegetables for those suggested here. Other options include broccoli, sweet potato, or zucchini. This is also a great “make ahead” meal that can be made in bulk and portioned into smaller size containers for freezing.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 T coconut or olive oil

  • 1 T Ras el Hanout

  • 1 tsp smoked Spanish paprika

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1 tsp ground coriander

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

  • 2 - 4 carrots, chopped (enough for about 2 Cups)

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets

  • 1 15-oz can organic diced tomatoes (including juice)

  • 2 1/2 C vegetable stock

  • 2 15-oz cans organic chickpeas, rinsed well and drained

  • Optional Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro and/or toasted pumpkin seeds

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in large pot. Add onion and garlic, and saute for about 5 minutes.

  2. Add all spices and cook for about 1 minute, just to release their fragrance.

  3. Add carrots and cauliflower. Stir to combine with spices and cook at medium heat for 5 minutes. (Note: you can add a bit of stock to the pan to avoid sticking, if you wish.)

  4. Add tomatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer.

  5. Add chickpeas, and allow mixture to simmer for 30 - 40 minutes (until carrots and cauliflower are tender).

  6. Serve with chopped cilantro or toasted pumpkin seeds, and enjoy!