I know I am a complete wierdo, but I totally crave things that are chock full of vegetables. This stew practically jumped out at me from the pages of EveryDay Food a few weeks ago. It was a cold day, so the thought of a hearty vegetable stew really made me happy. Carrots, eggplant, butternut squash, potatoes, tomatoes and chickpeas- what a healthy, delicious combination.
I am always a little bit skeptical when cinnamon is called for in a savory recipe, but with the cumin, coriander and cayenne, the cinnamon really played a nice part in the flavor here. It worked well with everything else that was going on in this dish.
Now, this stew is not beautiful to look at, but it is wonderfully spiced and delicious. I warned my family not to make any comments about how this looked, but to give it a chance and try it first, and they were all pleasantly surprised at how tasty it was.
This makes a lot of stew, so I have a large ziploc bag of it in the freezer, along with the leftover Israeli couscous mix, just waiting for a busy night a couple weeks from now, when I can just put the frozen stew on the stove and have an instant dinner. I love it when there is enough of something leftover that it can be dinner again in a couple of weeks!
1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, diced large
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
4 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
coarse salt and ground pepper
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
3 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 small eggplants, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (15.5 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
In an 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add spices, and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes.
Add carrots, potatoes, and squash and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes and broth- vegetables should be completely covered by liquid; add water to cover if necessary.
Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Add eggplant, stir to combine, and simmer until eggplant is tender, 20 minutes.
Stir in chickpeas, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook until chickpeas are warmed through.
*I served this over the Harvest Grains Blend from Trader Joe's- a combination of Israeli couscous, orzo, and red quinoa.