It might be a cold winter’s night, but a hearty bowl of stew with flavors from another land can warm the body and soul!
Soups and stews warm many a winter’s night, or day. I love deep rich flavor that a nice long simmer will give a pot of vegetables lots of time to get acquainted. The house smells like home when there is anything simmering on the stove, it’s a promise of something good to come.
Ras el hanout
We love Moroccan spices, and use them frequently in many dishes. This stew is seasoned with ras el hanout which is a favorite spice blend of Morocco, and translates to “head of the shop,” or the best of the spices. There is no one recipe for it, in fact, most households have their own special blend, so take that cue and create your own according to your taste, I know I did!
Lots from which to choose
Generally, the blend can include: coriander, cumin, fennel, allspice, pepper, cinnamon, anise, cardamom, ginger, galangal, cloves, nigella seeds, nutmeg, turmeric, nutmeg, mace, and even saffron. Toasting the spices is important to bring out the wonderful flavors.
Simmer and forget it
You can swap out other veggies you have on hand or can find locally, just mix up the variety of textures and flavors. Potatoes would be great here, or turnips or parsnips.
Once the veggies are chopped, this dish is simmer and forget it. Serve it as is in a bowl with a hearty bread, or spoon it over couscous or rice. This makes a lot, so you’ll have a second meal for the freezer or later in the week!
Moroccan Chickpea Stew
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 small bulb fennel, sliced
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. ras el hanout seasoning*
½ tsp. cayenne
Large pinch of saffron
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 rutabaga, diced
28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
1 can chickpeas, liquid included
1 quart vegetable stock
Lemon Tahini Sauce to drizzle:
2 tbsp. tahini
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Water to thin
Heat oil in a large stock or soup pot. Add the onion, leek, carrots, and celery. Cook until vegetables soften and add the fennel, and garlic ras el hanout. Cook for an additional two minutes and add the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or longer as you wish.
While cooking, prepare the drizzle. Mix together the tahini and lemon juice and whisk until thick. Thin with water to the desired consistency.
Plate, and add sauce to taste.
*Ras el Hanout
You can find a blend, or fiddle with one all your own. Having this on the shelf saves some time measuring out spices every time you need them! Here’s my favorite, which is heavier on the fennel and anise than traditional blends:
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. fennel
2 tsp. anise
1 tsp. cardamom
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cloves
Look for whole spices and seeds whenever possible, and toast them beforehand. Put them all in a large, dry skillet and let them go until you smell their fragrance. Immediately dump them into a bowl so you don’t burn them, and this can happen quickly.
Grind them up in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Place in an air-tight jar to store, and keep in a dark spot.
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Another yummy looking recipe. These flavors call to me. Thanks.
They warm you from the inside out!
Wow. This stew is chocked full of flavor! 👏🌿😍
It’s so good! And the encore will be equally appreciated.
Mmmm. Enough for leftovers. 😍🌿
Already tucked in the freezer!
Definitely a perfect stew for wintertime. Thanks!
Thanks chef! It was really warming.
Wow! I used to make this, too, except I used peanut butter instead of tahini. I stopped because I have one daughter with a peanut allergy. But, she can eat tahini… Woo, hoo!
It is a difficult bit of maneuvering isn’t it! My granddaughter also has a peanut allergy (plus a tree nut allergy), so I often make the tahini substitution with other recipes as well. Thankfully, she is not allergic to sesame. My daughter can eat peanuts, but is allergic to tree nuts and sesame!
mmmm, sounds so good!!
Thank you! It was really satisfying!
I love your recipe! I like to use lots of spices and adore ras el hanout. Mostly the mixtures sold here contain paprika – not an original ingredient and I am allergic to it! So I might just have to make my own mix with your spice recipe one day. 🙂 Thanks for the idea with the tahini too.
There are some really good blends out there, but they are seldom what I want exactly, so it’s easy to mix up my own. Good luck, and thanks for stopping by!
I love ras el hanout! It can make just about anything taste absolutely delicious. This sounds like a great dish as well!
It’s one of my favorite spice blends as well!
The stew looks yummy – and perfect for a cold winter day.
Oh it was! The temperatures were in the single numbers, and it was quite warming.
This might be just what I need!
I was having a bit of a clear out recently and found some chickpeas. I idon’t really want to make hummous or chickpea curry again so this might be exactly right for a bit of a change.
Do give it a try, it’s so flavorful and satisfying!
You’ve got a nice blog ☘️☘️☘️ Really nice ❤️😊😊
Why thank you Vincent! I’m so glad you stopped by.
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