North African Bean Stew

africanbeanstew.jpgThis stew is not just delicious, it’s super healthy, wonderfully filling and nicely spiced.

Ingredients

3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, white and green parts, diced
1 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems separated
1 cup finely diced fennel
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons + 2.5 teaspoons baharat (see note)
1/2 cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup farro
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or more to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 can chickpeas,drained
2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
1 cup peeled and diced turnip
1/2 cup red lentils
Plain yogurt for serving

Directions

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook leeks until they begin to brown, 10-12 minutes.

Finely chop cilantro stems. Stir into pot along with diced fennel and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in baharat, cinnamon and tomato paste and cook until paste begins to caramelize, about 2 minutes.

Stir in broth, 3 cups of water, the farrow and the salt. Bring to a gentle boil then reduce to medium. Simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Stir in beans, squash, turnip and lentils; cook until farrow is tender, about another 20 – 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Remove cinnamon stick.

Ladle stew into bowls. Spoon a dollop of yogurt on top and garnish with cilantro leaves.

  • Baharat is a Middle Eastern spice mix. You can buy it at specialty markets or make your own. To make it, combine 2 tablespoons sweet paprika, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom and 1 teaspoon allspice.

Slightly tweaked from a recipe by Melissa Clark for The New York Times

 

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