Usually my Other Half cooks supper and I do the washing up. However, today, I decided I would cook. I had a recipe for Moroccan Style Chickpea and Vegetable Stew (recipe below) that I had had for several years but had never prepared. It's not much fun cooking for oneself alone, and it was obviously not a single serving recipe! In fact, it turned out to be very much a multi-serving recipe. She had one, and I had two, one large and one much smaller. We still ended up having about half the pot left over!
Here's what it looked like. It called for a yellow pepper instead of the green I used, and the person on whose website I found the recipe used purple carrots, and the 'couple handfuls of chopped greens' which I omitted, so hers was a bit more colourful.
As you will note from the picture, it went very well with the wholemeal wheat bread, sweetened with molasses, that my Other Half made a couple of days ago in the bread making machine our son bought for us.
The Other Half is not what one would call an adventuresome eater, but she said it was very good. She wasn't sure if she liked chickpeas, but I seem to have convinced her.
Here's the recipe. I highly recommend this site for vegetarians, those who want to cut their meat consumption, and Catholics on Friday. However, we both agreed that if the Other Half wasn't a vegetarian, this would have been enhanced by the addition of a boneless, skinless chicken breast.
MOROCCAN-STYLE VEGETABLE + CHICKPEA STEW
from The First Mess
Serves: Makes one big pot :)Notes: I like to slowly cook the onions and spices out in the oil before I add everything else, almost stewing them in a way. The raw-ness of the spice goes away and the onions melt into the soup in a special luxurious kind of way.
stew ingredients:1 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium onion, small diced
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
chili flakes (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 medjool dates, pitted + chopped (I used prepared chopped dates that seemed to work well)
2 medium carrots, chopped (1/2 inch pieces)
1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled + chopped (1/2 inch pieces)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
3 cups vegetable stock (or more, depending)
1 yellow pepper, stemmed and chopped (1/2 inch pieces)
2 cups (or a 14-15 ounce can) cooked chickpeas
salt + pepper, to taste (I left the salt out. It didn't seem to affect the taste much.)
couple handfuls of chopped greens
chopped flat leaf parsley/cilantro
fine grated lemon zest
extra virgin olive oil
cooked brown rice/quinoa/millet/couscous
Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and lower heat until they are sizzling kind of quietly. Once the onions are a bit soft and translucent, add the cinnamon, cumin, coriander and chili flakes. Slowly sauté and stir this mix until the onions are really, really soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped dates, carrots and sweet potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables in the spices and oil. Add the tomatoes and stir. Add the vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer until the sweet potatoes are just tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Add the chopped yellow peppers and chickpeas and stir the soup. Season the whole thing again with salt and pepper. Simmer until the yellow peppers are tender and the sweet potatoes are quite soft, about 5 minutes. Add the greens to the pot (and more stock if necessary) and cook for 1 minute, or until just-wilted. Check the soup for seasoning and serve it hot with cooked grains, drizzles of olive oil, lemon zest and chopped herbs.