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moroccan-style vegetable + chickpea stew

moroccan-style vegetable + chickpea stew // the first messmoroccan-style vegetable + chickpea stew // the first messpulling carrots // the first messkale in the garden // the first mess
You can file this one under “stuff I actually make with frequency.” Most of the time I just have an idea in an offhand sort of way and it ends up here. Then there’s that pile of old reliables that I make all the time, without even thinking that maybe they could be awesome and fun-wow for you guys too. So we’re gonna try that today. We got back from New York the other night and I think I’m still full? I really wanted the ritual of a leisurely, stew-centered afternoon though, just to usher in this fall thing properly and to get back into the rhythm of everyday living. The air smells like crushed grape skins and crunchy, slowly-fading leaves at night. I got myself a new mug for all those hot beverages and our apple tree is killing it out there right now. Give me all of your autumn leaf emojis, people. We are READY over here.

Also perhaps you’ll notice some boxed stock and canned items in the photo below? The first time I accidentally flipped on the TV to an episode of Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade, she was fixing up a little pot of soup. I didn’t know the premise of the show at this point, so I kept watching. You know what that braud did? She mixed a quart-box of tomato soup with a jar of salsa, simmered that shit, and called it MEXICAN TOMATO SOUP. I mean… this is a little different–it’s a little more on that ACTUAL homemade tip. I’m not exactly steady-jarring my own tomatoes and simmering stock when I have a spare couple of hours (HA!). Generally I say (legit) homemade is better on all fronts, but when you’ve got yourself a stew goin’ with lots of vegetables and spices, those subtleties are less noticeable I think. I keep a decent supply of low-sodium veggie stock, tinned tomatoes (preferably sans BPA in the can’s lining) and beans for when I’m in a pinch/don’t wanna wait. That’s how this little number came about and now I’ve got lunch for a week. Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that wholesome pantry crutches are awesome, and that Miss Sandra is not my fave human being on the planet. That’s all.

But on this stew thing! The first time I had a bit of a fancier, totally vegan dining experience, I ate something like this. I read “sweet potatoes, warm spices, smoky tomatoes, wilted greens etc etc,” on the menu and knew that it was going to change my life. Yep, totally did. It was familiar, unusual, comforting, new, exciting… and it came with an adorable scoop of purple rice pilaf. And there was really good organic wine. Shortly afterward I was sold on the whole plant-based way of life and not too long after that, I figured out how to make this supreme comfort food all by my badass self. I might even say that my version is better than that first time memory. I add chopped dates and a little lemon zest, go heavy on the warm spices–the cinnamon is the best part–and I utilize one of my fave pantry items: fire roasted crushed tomatoes. Yeah dudes. Gettin’ real cozy up in here.

preppinpreppinmoroccan-style vegetable + chickpea stew // the first messmoroccan-style vegetable + chickpea stew // the first mess

moroccan-style vegetable + chickpea stew
serves: makes a 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:
big knob of coconut oil
1 medium onion, small dice
2-3 tsp ground cinnamon
1-2 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp ground coriander
chili flakes (optional)
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 dates, pitted + chopped
2 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
couple handfuls of chopped greens

to serve:
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 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.

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Emma26/09/2013 - 5:17 am

I posted a very similar recipe just yesterday- My red lentil + root vegetable tagine! I love the fragrant spices and sweetness from the dried fruit.

Harriet26/09/2013 - 5:18 am

I have a similar recipe in regular rotation during the cooler months, but I think yours might be better! I love the Moroccan combo of lemon, cinnamon and tomato. Also adding dried fruit to anything is guaranteed to make it doubly delicious! Big pot meals for the win :)

Danielle26/09/2013 - 5:27 am

This is so, so perfect for cooler weather! Thank you. I love how Moroccan(-inspired) cuisine combines sweet and savory so deliciously.

Kristen26/09/2013 - 7:09 am

This looks way better than the version sold at Urban Herbivore…and it doesn’t come with a side of hipster abuse!

Lana26/09/2013 - 7:49 am

Have you done a post on kitchen gear? If so….I’ve missed it :). I’d love to see the pots, pans, baking sheets, etc etc. I make do with what I’ve accumulated over time, but I’d love to know what you’d recommend to have if I purposefully shopped for an excellent kitchen set-up :)

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar26/09/2013 - 7:57 am

I love a good stew like this – especially in fall. Looks lovely!

Claire (Eat Well. Party Hard.)26/09/2013 - 7:57 am

“She mixed a quart-box of tomato soup and a jar of salsa, simmered that shit, and called it MEXICAN TOMATO SOUP.”

Tha fuck is this shit??

On a happier note, it’s rad that you added dates to this dish. Sweet in savory = win every time.

Laura Wright26/09/2013 - 8:14 am

Hey Lana! I’m thinking of doing something like that, along with a pantry basics kind of thing when I move into the new house. So possibly soon! :)
-L

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan26/09/2013 - 8:43 am

This kind of stew is my absolute favorite! I love the spice, the veggies, the depth, oh my! Lovely pictures as always Laura!

Reeve26/09/2013 - 9:11 am

Oh. my. goodness. Looks so yummy! Will definitely be trying this one once I’m back home. perfect start to fall!

Ashlae26/09/2013 - 9:11 am

Hellllll yes. I had a high vibe vegan stew at a biergarten (OF ALL PLACES) and I’ve been dreaming about it ever since. Super bummed I won’t have a proper kitchen to make this for a couple more months – but I know there’s a can of fire roasted tomatoes tucked away in a box labeled “pantry” just waiting to rage with chickpeas and sweet potatoes and cozy spices.

Ashley26/09/2013 - 9:32 am

This is absolutely wonderful!!! That first photo is killer. I also agree about the fire roasted tomatoes. They just add so much! This sounds like the exact thing I want in my belly for lunch…and dinner..for the next month. So glad you were able to take a little breather between vacation + work/life when you got home. xo

The Peace Patch26/09/2013 - 9:34 am

zowie that looks so temptingly delicious! I love dates and cinnamon in anything and chickpeas too and ohgoodgolly it’s all together in one!
Purple rice pilaf…that is so intriguing. Not that this needs it, but purple rice just sounds like a bowlful of fun. ;)

Mariela26/09/2013 - 9:54 am

Love it! I might just have to make this tonight.

dishing up the dirt26/09/2013 - 10:25 am

It has finally gotten cool enough here to enjoy hearty food like this! This is my favorite kind of stew. The right amount of spice packed full of veggies. Love it!

grace26/09/2013 - 10:35 am

Oh golly that Sandra Lee! This video never gets old for me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLMNZ6xY6YY
Your soup looks absolutely delicious. I shared the link around the office so I could drool over the pictures with my coworkers and it’s not even lunchtime yet!

Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence26/09/2013 - 10:42 am

Ahhhh Sandra Lee. You can always count on her for a good laugh. Like in this video: http://youtu.be/we2iWTJqo98 All joking a side, this soup looks lovely :) It’s fall and I’m ready for some SOUP!

Stacy26/09/2013 - 10:47 am

This looks FANTASTIC. Another winner, my friend. (: I am all about ushering in fall with this sort of coziness, and the flavor combinations sound absolutely delicious. I’ll be making this for sure!

mich26/09/2013 - 10:53 am

Baby, you’ve got a stew going!

Seriously though, this looks great. Wondering if one could sub other dried fruit for the dates – dried apricots, raisins etc…?

Laura Wright26/09/2013 - 10:58 am

Michelle! I’ve made this with dried apricots and currants too. Way tasty any old way you go really :)

Nicola Galloway26/09/2013 - 11:36 am

I love the combo of spices used in Moroccan cooking. Will have to try this. Beautiful bowl you have served the stew in.

S26/09/2013 - 11:48 am

Thinking about making a double batch to have on hand for those harried weeknight dinners. Do you think it would freeze well (with the greens omitted)

Meredith @ Live Local Greens26/09/2013 - 2:28 pm

I will DEFINITELY be making this! Love hearty stews in Autumn and Moroccan flavours are the bomb! I actually just posted a Morrocan-y vibed recipe on my blog yesterday too! Thank you for sharing one of your fave dishes :)

Laura Wright26/09/2013 - 3:08 pm

Hi S! I freeze this stew all the time (without the greens as you said) :)
-L

Christine26/09/2013 - 6:01 pm

This is exactly what I want now that it’s getting a little chilly out at night. Looks so lovely! I think I saw Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes in your picture. Where did you find those?! Whenever I am in big cities in the US (NYC, Boston) I always stop by Whole Foods and pack them away in my suitcase because I’ve never been able to find them here in Niagara. But maybe you have?

Renata26/09/2013 - 6:24 pm

OMG! I just finished cooking this amazing Moroccan Stew and prepared some couscous with it, we absolutely love it. Thank you for this recipe! ❤️

Laura Wright27/09/2013 - 8:08 am

Hi Christine, I always buy the Muir Glen tomatoes over at Wegman’s in Niagara Falls NY/Amherst when we make a trip over. They’re truly the best.
-L

Kelly27/09/2013 - 12:19 pm

Is it possible to throw all these fab ingredients in the slow cooker? Im not lazy… but sometimes I am. And this sounds really delish…thoughts?

Laura Wright27/09/2013 - 3:39 pm

Hey Kelly, I think you might be able to… Maybe leave out the cooked beans and greens until closer to the end of cooking time though. I don’t have much experience with slow cookers, so have no idea what speed, time etc you would have to apply… Let me know how it goes if you try it out! :)
-L

Kathryn27/09/2013 - 3:56 pm

I pretty much want to eat this and nothing else for the rest of time. Love that spicy smoky sweetness and all that goodness.

Hannah27/09/2013 - 4:54 pm

I love the Muir Glen tomatoes but have never tried the fire roasted. If/when you have kids you might find that tinned tomatoes, ‘stock helpers’ and canned beans become much more regular players in your kitchen – and a recipe like this one will be even more beloved. I can’t wait to try it, myself.

Emily27/09/2013 - 5:25 pm

Made this last night, so good!

Sophie28/09/2013 - 8:18 pm

I made this for dinner. It was heavenly! The left overs were even better. Thanks for the recipe.

Musette #1 | Flossy's Fuel01/10/2013 - 7:52 am

[…] This hearty stew would be perfect after hard day of rainy, muddy, chilly cyclocross racing. Hot shower, cold beer, and this stew–perfect end to an awesome day! […]

stacey snacks01/10/2013 - 5:35 pm

Oh my! I made this tonight for dinner (minus the yellow pepper), and served over couscous w/ fresh cilantro.

AH-MAZING! No meat missed in this house tonight!
Thanks, will be re-posting soon.

Stacey

Kelly02/10/2013 - 7:23 pm

Laura – I skipped the slow cooker. This stew is amazing. Thank you for the recipe!!

Kate Barton03/10/2013 - 5:18 pm

Oh my goodness! Yum! I really loved this recipe! Thank you for all your recipes, I am on an anti-inflammatory diet and your recipes have been a lifesaver.

dervla @ the curator14/10/2013 - 10:50 pm

Laura!!! This stew needs to be in my life right now. Gorgeous and stomach warming.

Holly16/10/2013 - 10:03 pm

Delicious! Thank you so much for a wonderful recipe. I added pine nuts, fresh halved cherry tomatoes and cilantro to serve. The pine nuts are a great addition.

[…] exponentially, and I was finally able to scratch one meal off my list by whipping up a batch of Moroccan-Style Vegetable and Chickpea Stew from The First Mess. I added in a bay leaf, a shake of both paprika and chili powder, and half a […]

stacey snacks03/11/2013 - 5:26 pm

Here it is. Made it 3 times so far…..SO GOOD!
Thank you!

http://www.staceysnacksonline.com/2013/10/moroccan-style-vegetable-stew-w.html

Lana11/11/2013 - 9:37 pm

I made this tonight for my weekly soup lunch stash. Oh man, the flavours are so intense! Love the idea of the rice on top, too. Perfect for the first snowfall of the year.

Maggie19/11/2013 - 7:24 pm

I seriously survive off of this stuff. My very favorite thing to make in the fall. The flavors are perfectly cozy and comforting. I ate it for breakfast this morning at work and got some looks, but I don’t care if people judge me for having stew for breakfast. It’s just that good.

Petra20/11/2013 - 3:29 pm

Hi, made one based on your recipe yesterday (cooked chickpeas myself, no dates but raisins, no pepper as I did not have one, herbs was fresh coriander), served it with basmati cooked with couple of cardamon pods, stick of cinnamon and teaspoon of whole cumin tossed with caramelized onions and more raisins. Looked great, smelled great, tasted great and was really healthy. Very pleased. Will read more of your recipes for some inspiration since I love cooking, too.

[…] etc) and use of Mediterranean fruits and vegetables. I found this recipe via the fabulous food blog The First Mess and wanted to share. This dish boasts incredible flavor and really hits the spot on a cold […]

Lois gagnon06/12/2013 - 12:56 pm

This looks delicious and I’m going to make it, but it would be nice to have a printer friendly version without the pictures.

Laura Wright06/12/2013 - 1:14 pm

Hi Lois, I haven’t found a “print recipe” plug-in option that I’m happy with yet. I am working on this though. In the meantime, if you would like to print the recipes without pictures, you could always copy the text and then paste it into a word processor.
-L

Luz02/01/2014 - 8:17 pm

I made this for dinner tonight with some changes due to a dwindling pantry. I didn’t have coriander, crushed tomatoes, dates, stock, greens, or yellow pepper. I added more cinnamon and cumin, fresh chopped tomatoes, well salted water, bay leaf, and lastly green and red bell peppers. It was AMAZING. This was really easy, filled the apartment with a wonderful aroma. My 19-month old loved it with some rice. I will definitely be making this again, I can’t imagine how good it will be with all of the ingredients. Thank you very much for the lovely recipe!

[…] Haricots Verts, Mushrooms, & Cronions by Tasty Trix No-Meat Guinness Stew by The Curvy Carrot Moroccan-Style Vegetable + Chickpea Stew by The First Mess Vegetarian Pichuberry Quinoa Chili by Peru […]

Hannah02/02/2014 - 12:40 am

Such a lovely dish with beautiful warming flavours. Served my with yoghurt and fresh coriander. Definitely on my list of favourite recipes now.

[…] Sunday afternoon in less than two hours we made a Moroccan and chickpea soup, a lentil salad, and maple pumpkin corn bread from Nutritious […]

[…] Moroccan Style Vegetable + Chickpea Stew by, The First Mess […]

Lutch18/02/2014 - 9:07 pm

Just made this, it was easy to make and very delicious. Probably the only success I’ve ever had in the kitchen. Excited to try many of your other recipes!

Alice09/03/2014 - 5:55 pm

I made this today and it was absolutely delicious! Loads of interesting flavours, I definitely this sweating the onions in the spices before adding any other ingredients is a great tip. Excited to try some more of your recipes.

Fleur20/04/2014 - 9:19 am

My mouth is watering just reading through this recipe! I genuinely cannot wait to try it.

aug 4 | meet us on monday17/08/2014 - 3:38 am

[…] Chickpea Stew served with Cauliflower Rice (recipe inspiration here & here)Cuisine: AmericanHost: KevinGames: Jelly Belly BeanBoozled (sold […]

[…] inaugural cold-weather meal this year was this Moroccan-style Vegetable + Chickpea Stew by The First Mess. It’s flavorful, hearty and full of wonderful fall roots and spices. Feel […]

[…] Want inspiring pictures?  There is a good post with a not bad version of this dish at The First Mess. […]

Sarah19/09/2014 - 12:06 am

I made this for dinner tonight. even without the onions and garlic, which I’m allergic to so had to omit, it was FABULOUS! I used chard and devoured a big bowl. This will definitely be going in my recipe box for the future. Thank you for sharing!

Devki11/10/2014 - 5:03 am

I just tried this, as and when I started adding the spices to the oil the kitchen started smelling wonderful. It takes while to cook but the results are worth it. Tasted so good. I am and Indian and I ate this with chapati and It was perfect.

Thanks :)

[…] bars are vegan and gluten free, for those who care. They’ll be a fall staple, as will this Moroccan style vegetable + chickpea stew. Dates and lemon zest […]

Karyn Mason20/10/2014 - 4:41 pm

Avid cook and baker looking to add more vegetable based recipes to my mental recipebox. I read recipes for inspiration never follow completely. This Moroccan Vegie Stew sounds heavenly.

[…] with your favourite one pot/soup/stew kind of meal for this time of year. For me, it’s the Moroccan-style stew with sweet potatoes and chickpeas that I posted last year. Proper cozy-making. I will have to limit this giveaway to my pals in North […]

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