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Moroccan Chickpea and Root Vegetable Stew

Serves 6-8



For the chickpeas:

1 cup dried chickpeas, picked over and soaked overnight

1 small onion, cut in half

½ cinnamon stick

1 small dried red chili

2 tablespoons olive oil


For the vegetables:

½ pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8  teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 large onion, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

one 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped

2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger



1.     Drain the chickpeas, put them in a medium pot, and add water to cover 1 ½ inches.  Add the onion, cinnamon stick, chile, olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook gently until the chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes. Taste for salt. Remove from the heat and allow the chickpeas to cook in the cooking liquid. Then discard the onion, chili and cinnamon stick.


2.     Preheat the oven to 375° F.  Put the carrots and parsnips on a baking tray, toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt, and roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender.  Put the cauliflower on a separate baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt and roast until golden and tender, about 25 minutes.


3.     Lightly toast the cumin seeds and coriander seeds and grind to a powder with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder.  Add the turmeric and cayenne and stir to combine.


4.     Warm a large straight-sided pan over medium heat.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, followed by the onion, celery, and a pinch of salt.  Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.


5.     Add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Add the spices, garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the chickpeas and cooking liquid, and bring to a simmer.  Add the roasted vegetables. At this point there should be a nice amount of broth in the pan, like a chunky soup. If not, add water.  Taste for salt and simmer for 5 minutes.

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