In an effort to eat less meat, I have been trying to soak beans once a week. This week I decided to commit to a bunch of chickpeas. Here’s what I found for inspiration:

A delicious chickpea stew from Smitten Kitchen:



Squash and Chickpea Moroccan Stew
Adapted from Aida Mollencamp

So, about those preserved lemons: This isn’t the first Moroccan dish I’ve made, but I’ve always been on the fence about the inclusion of preserved lemons. What if I searched all over town for them and ended up dropping $10 on something I hated. Would I like salt-pickled lemons? This time, I took the plunge (found them at Garden of Eden, for you New Yorkers, gourmet/specialty shops for everyone else or you can try Elise’s homemade recipe) and well: I think they’re an acquired taste that I haven’t acquired yet, but hope to. Yet they were wonderfully fragrant in the dish and if you’re looking to try out something new, or if you’re already smitten with them, go for it.

Serves 6 to 8

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound butternut squash, large dice
3/4 pound red potatoes, large dice
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
Pinch saffron threads (optional)
1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped
1 cup brined green olives (Aida recommended Cerignola)
Steamed couscous, for serving (directions here and elsewhere on the web)
Fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, for garnish
Toasted slivered almonds, for garnish
Plain yogurt, for garnish
Hot sauce of your choice (for serving)

Heat butter and olive oil in a 3- to 4-quart Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan with a tight fitting lid over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add onion, garlic, cumin, and cinnamon, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spices are aromatic and onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add squash and potatoes, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir to coat, and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add broth, chickpeas, tomatoes and their juices, and saffron, if using. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until squash is fork tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in preserved lemon and olives. Serve over couscous garnished with cilantro, almonds, and yogurt.

This Indian chickpea stew with quinoa and lentils looks good too, though I haven’t tried this one yet.

  • 1/2 a red onion diced
  • A splash of sunflower oil
  • 1 clove of garlic chopped
  • a small knob of grated ginger
  • 1 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander, chillies and turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cloves
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 2-3 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 can of chickpeas aka garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • thick yogurt and chopped coriander to garnish
  • squeeze of lime juice
  1. Heat the oil in a thick bottomed saucepan and fry off the onions on a medium heat.
  2. Add the ground spices and stir until it becomes aromatic
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and stir again for a few minutes
  4. Add the red lentils and toss in the spice mixture for one minute
  5. Add the chicken or vegie stck and cook on high heat till it comes to a rapid boil
  6. Lower the heat and let the ingredients simmer for about 10-15 mins. Season to taste
  7. Remove from the heat and blend using a stab blender or do it manually using a regular blender
  8. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and let it simmer for another 5 mins
  9. Take off the heat and stir through the cooked quinoa
  10. Squeeze a little lime juice
  11. Garnish with a dollop of thick yogurt and chopped coriander

The  lentil soup is best served hot. You may wish to accompany it with some naan bread. Hope you enjoy this zesty, spicy soup/stew.


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Comments (3)


  1. Posted by: Jinia

    Have to share my favorite way to eat them…from a can..rinse dry toss with olive oil (very little), cumin(personal decision on amount but very needed), sea salt, pepper..on a cookie sheet at 350ish until toasted. This can take anything from 30 min to an hour..My son and I love this as a snack. I like to roast butternut squash and tomatoes at the same time toss that on the bed of quiona and on top of all that the roasted crunchy chick peas..just couldn’t help but to share!

  2. Just tried the Moroccan stew with a bunch of leftover veg in the fridge and it rocked. This will go in our regular rotation!

  3. Posted by: Rachael

    I’ve been keeping a bowlful in the fridge for dousing with vinaigrette and tossing onto salads, or just munching with avocado. My 11 month old and I both love them.

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