That’s right, it’s crock-pot time. The weather in NYC is getting colder, errr was until today, so that means it’s time for hearty stews. For me that means it’s time to dust off the crock-pot. YESSSS! It’s almost as good as November 1st: my self-imposed day of when I have to wait to start listening to Christmas music.
To kick off crock-pot season I made this Moroccan Chickpea Stew. I set my crock-pot to cook before I went off to class last night and couldn’t wait to get home to try my soup. Well I came home and I was walking through the halls and I smelled an aroma of something delicious, immediately I thought to myself “oh I wonder what Ariel is cooking, it smells so good”! Dumb dumb me I truly “set it and forget it”! It was MY soup that smelled so good! I wanted to do something different than my go-to crock-pot recipe of a bunch of veggies combined with either noodles or barley, this definitely shook it up. I am not a big fan of spicy foods, in fact, I even think mild salsa has a kick to it. I’m weak! I was worried when this recipe called for red pepper flakes but I just threw them in along with the cumin praying that I wouldn’t be regretting my decision later. I don’t! Yes, the soup does have a kick to it–but in a good way. It’s got heat but not in hot way…if that makes sense.
This stew is absolutely PERFECT for fall. With the colors of red and orange it even looks like fall to me. Butternut squash is probably one of my favorite vegetables and it’s great in this stew. The sweetness of the butternut squash and carrots complement the spicy broth while the creaminess from the chickpeas cuts the spice. You can even add a dollop of sour cream on top or some cheese to cut it a little more. The best thing about a crock-pot is that you can feed yourself almost all week, sometimes for even two meals a day! For a college student: it’s a dream. The best thing about this stew is that it’s hearty enough to eat alone, but can also be paired with a grain to make a more complete meal. I’m gonna try it poured over some couscous later this week! Yum Yum! This soup is incredibly healthy and it will fill you up for sure–I heard somewhere that spicy foods satisfy more and in this case it’s definitely true. If you want a delicious fall stew that’s not your norm go with this one.
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Moroccan Chickpea Stew
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into cubes
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
15 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
Coat a small skillet with cooking spray (I also added a little oil). Add onion and garlic; saute for 5 minutes.
Place squash in a 3-quart or larger slow cooker (crockpot). Add sauteed onion and garlic, carrots, tomatoes, broth, cinnamon, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cover and turn on to low heat; simmer for 6 hours.
Add chickpeas and salt. Stir, cover and heat for an additional 5 minutes. Yields about 1 1/3 cups per serving, and about 6 servings.