Moroccan vegetable and lentil stew

Last week I brought home my last haul of produce from my CSA, a community-supported agriculture program I very much enjoyed since May. I had visions of making something super tasty to end the season off right. Soups and stews are what I’m craving lately so what resulted was this delicious Moroccan-inspired meal.

Now, don’t be fooled by appearances. This stew may have a somewhat long list of ingredients but it is a whole lotta delicious. Sometimes combining a handful of seasonal elements together in a simple way allows each ingredient to shine without a lot of fuss—that is what I love about one-pot meals. This recipe is easy, uncomplicated and just the kind of food I eat every day.

The textures and flavours of this dish are quite varied and yet work together really well. The eggplant, with its slightly bitter taste and meaty texture, balances the surrounding flavours of the other, more pronounced ingredients like the sweet butternut squash and the vibrant tomatoes. Then you get a decisive smack from the fresh ginger that breaks through the familiar only to end in a sweet suggestion of Moroccan spices.

I should note that I roasted my eggplant and butternut squash beforehand, which brings out the flavours of these hearty vegetables. However, I don’t think it’s completely necessary if you’re pressed for time. You may just need to adjust the cooking time and simmer the stew until the vegetables and lentils are cooked through. I also used canned tomatoes here since “fresh” tomatoes at this time of year are transported in and, in my opinion, taste awful. But feel free to use whatever works for you.

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Moroccan vegetable and lentil stew

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant, cubed
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2-inch piece ginger, grated
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and oil the bottom of two sheet pans.
  2. Spread the eggplant onto one pan and the squash onto another. Bake until soft, about 30 minutes.
  3. In a large pot, add a splash of water and cook the onion, garlic, ginger and carrots over medium heat until soft. Add water as needed so the ingredients don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the spices and cook for another minute or two, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the vegetable stock, tomatoes, lentils as well as the roasted eggplant and squash and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.
      

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3 Responses to “Moroccan vegetable and lentil stew”

  1. Hannah — November 13, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

    Oh, how glorious! I’m certain that warming, spicy, complex soups and stews like this are going to help get me through winter. That, and regular lunches/dinners/catch-ups like we had on Sunday :)

    Reply

    • Nicole replied: — November 13th, 2012 @ 9:53 pm

      Yes! Both of those are key to surviving Canadian winters. xo

      Reply

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