Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Moroccan Bean Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Apricots

This delicious soup is adapted from a recipe from my favourite cookbook author Dreena Burton. Here is the link to her blog if you want to check it out yourself. http://vivelevegan.blogspot.com/2010/02/moroccan-bean-stew.html

Moroccan spices are some of my favourite--warm and aromatic they make food taste and smell amazing.

Moroccan Bean Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Roasted Apricots
You need:
Up to 1 TB oil (I use less)
1 tsp cumin seeds
¾ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander (cilantro to my American peeps)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp sea salt
1-2 tsp sriracha hot sauce or a ½ tsp cayenne pepper
Fresh ground pepper to taste
1 ½ cups onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
3 to 3 ½  cups sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 can (1 ½ cups) black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 can (1 ½ cups) chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over
3 cups vegetable stock
3 ½ cups water
1 ½ TB freshly grated ginger --I cheat and blop in some BART Ginger Paste

Optional topping (it’s not optional--this is what makes it *amazing*)
½ -¾ cup dried figs or dried apricots--I’m using apricots she uses figs
½ -1 tsp oil
Pinch sea salt

How to do it:
In a large pot over medium heat add the oil and the spices and the salt. Cook for a few minutes then add the onion, pepper, garlic and sweet potato. Stir though and cover and cook 7-8 minutes until the onions have started to soften. Add all remaining ingredients except apricots and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce heat and simmer until lentils are fully dissolved. Note: she says if you are using fresh ginger put it in at the end and stir through as I always cheat and use ginger paste I put it in for the whole time. Do what you like.

While the soup is cooking preheat the oven to 220C/425F. Line a small pan with parchment paper and toss the dried fruit with oil and salt. Bake 12-15 minutes, tossing once. Remove and let cool. They may be blackened in spots but they taste gloriously smoky and sweet. They also get chewier and crispier as they cool. Bonus!


Check this out --doesn’t it look delicious? All those smoky apricots a-swimming in the golden soup? Did I mention this makes more than enough for 2 meals? Yup--it’s a make once eat twice sorta dish. 

Note: I have come to be cooking my own beans from scratch to save money but also to control the salt in processed beans. This time I tried to cook the beans in the same pot as they were going in the same soup. This made my black beans a little soft--but hey it is a soup they don’t need to be too firm but stained my chickpeas a weird purple-y blue--like the colour of a cloud right before it rains. Which I am reliably told is the colour of Krishna. So if my soup has a slightly strange hue, don’t worry--it still tasted wonderful.

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