This delicious Moroccan vegetable stew is good to eat on a cold winter’s day, and it’s oh so good for you. It’s full of humble yet healthy winter vegetables including cruciferous cancer protective turnips and kohlrabi. Although the ingredient list may seem long, the spices that give the stew its exotic flavor are whole, while all the vegetables are cut into largish pieces, so it’s not that fiddly or time consuming to prepare. If treatment has left you lacking energy, these days you can find quite a selection of pre cut fresh veg at the store, so don’t hesitate to use them if they’re available.
1. Bring the stock or water to a boil in a pot. Add the salt, garlic, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, ginger, saffron threads, lemon peel and chipotle pepper, if using. Add a tablespoon of broth to rinse the saffron bowl so you get every last thread. Cook for 2 minutes.
2. Add the turnips, carrots, kohlrabi, potatoes and diced tomatoes to the broth. Mix well. Bring to a boil, cover, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Add the bell pepper, celery and squash. Mix in. Cook covered until the squash is just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Add the lima beans and chickpeas. Cook until heated through. Taste for salt. Stir in the chopped herbs, cover and cook 1 minute more. Turn off the heat and let the stew steam for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove and discard the bay leaf, ginger, chipotle pepper and cinnamon stick. Serve with whole grain couscous or with quinoa.
- 4 cups stock or water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 1 inch ginger root, split in half lengthwise
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads dissolved in a tablespoon of boiling water
- 1 inch strip of lemon peel (optional)
- 1 whole dried chipotle pepper (optional)
- 3 to 4 small turnips, peeled and quartered
- 3 to 4 medium carrots, scrubbed and cut into ½-inch chunks
- 2 small kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and quartered (see Ann’s Tips)
- 5 small Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 sticks celery, quartered
- 2 cups kabocha or butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (see Ann’s Tips)
- ½ cup frozen lima beans
- ½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
- ½ cup chopped cilantro or mint
- harissa (optional – see Ann’s Tips)
Ann's Tips and Tricks
If you can’t find kohlrabi, buy a small savoy or green cabbage. You will need about 1-pound. Cut it into quarters with the core trimmed out. Add to the stew in step 3.
If you don’t have root ginger or a cinnamon stick on hand, use 1 teaspoon each of ground ginger and cinnamon.
If you make your own chickpeas, remove any aromatics and reserve the broth to use in step 1 instead of water or commercial stock. It will give the stew extra flavor. If you used a chipotle pepper to make your beans, don’t add any more to the stew.
If you like your food spicy, mix some harissa (North African chili paste) to taste into a ladleful of the stew’s broth, and pour it over your plate.