Friday, 22 March 2013

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Tagine

Dear springtime: please stop being such a tease.

Is it just me, or does it feel like every few days the air is full of that lovely feeling of almost-spring? It's not that I don't like snow, but we have now passed the equinox and my calendar says that it is not supposed to be winter. The days are longer than the nights, and the snow piles still towering over bus shelters are throwing me off.

The one thing that I appreciate about this week's surprise blizzard was the (hopefully) last chance to curl up by my window with a hot and hearty bowl of stew and watch the giant blowing flakes of snow endlessly piling up outside. 

This hearty tagine was a simple, throw-everything-in-the-crockpot-and-see-what-it-is-when-I-get-home meal which turned out beautifully. 

The mixture of sweet orange juice and fresh mint with the warmth and spiciness of paprika and cinnamon layered into the tomato paste enveloped the vegetables. The glory of this dish is definitely the butternut squash. That beautiful, flavourful, and oh-so-nutritious orange vegetable does wonderfully in a crock pot, slowly softening and absorbing the mix of flavours, adding a whole new dimension to what is already my favourite vegetable. Combine that with the carrots, broccoli, chickpeas and the occasional raisin, and you arrive home to a steaming pot full of comfort, decadence, and good health.

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 gloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 5 carrots, thickly sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup fresh mint
  • 1 tbsp tarragon
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • chili flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chickpeas

  1. Heat olive oil in a small skillet with onion. Sauté for a few minutes, and add garlic. Continue cooking until onion starts to soften and become clear. Add paprika, stir contents for a minute or so and then add to crockpot
  2. Combine squash, carrots, broccoli, tomato paste, water, orange juice, raisins and spices in a crockpot.
  3. Stir to combine, and add more liquid if vegetables are not mostly covered.
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. Mix in chickpeas, and allow to warm through.
  6. Serve alone or over rice or top with feta or cilantro

This stew keeps very well; in fact, the flavours deepen and develop over a few days. It also freezes quite well - I made this about a month ago and kept a jar in my fridge just in case of a surprise blizzard.

I also tried to experiment with making the tagine into collard wraps, with limited success. They were good, but this was definitely better as just a stew. Or maybe I just don't know how to make collard wraps, and was too hungry to spend the time to figure it out.

Lastly, Angela at Oh She Glows posted this lovely image which captures exactly how I feel about the seasons here right now. #canada.

I am submitting this soup to Deb's Souper Sundays.


  1. I love the look of this stew--so hearty and good with the mix of different flavors and ingredients. It's what I would want on a cold, blustery day. ;-)

    Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week--hope to have you back again!



  2. Just my kind of flavours, loving the sound of this tajine.


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