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- Serves 6-8
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The spices in this hearty vegetable stew are classic flavors of North African cooking—a mix of sweet, savory, bright, and earthy all in one dish. Saffron may be the world’s most expensive spice, but this recipe, like most, only calls for a small amount. This dish also calls for sweet paprika, which usually refers to a milder form of the spice.
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, cut into ½-inch slices
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1½ tablespoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- Two 1-inch pieces cinnamon stick
- 8 cups Vegetable Stock, or low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 medium butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into ¾-inch pieces
- 1 turnip, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas, or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed
- 2 large pinches saffron, soaked for 15 minutes in ¼ cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
- Place the onion, carrots, and celery in a large pot and sauté for 10 minutes.
- Add water 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon sticks and cook for 3 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, squash, turnip, potato, tomatoes, and chickpeas and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, for 25 minutes. Add the mint and the saffron with its soaking water and season the stew with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes more, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Serve garnished with the cilantro.