We always have a very full freezer. It is home to a never ending supply of overripe bananas and farmers market produce stashed away for use long after the season is over. Ingredients rather than complete meals are what I have stored in the past, but in the last month, with an impending addition to our family on the way, soups and stews destined for the freezer have been on my agenda. J. and I welcomed a rosy-cheeked, healthy baby boy last week forever changing our little world.
We are settling into days that seem to be gone in an instant with feeding and caring for our son. Not much time is left for what occupied us before his arrival, but we are taking in all the special moments caring for a newborn. I made this root vegetable tagine the week before Thanksgiving. Cumin, cinnamon and other seasonings in a Moroccan-inspired spice blend enlivened the vegetables for a satisfying yet light stew. As blissful and bleary-eyed new parents, dinner is one less distraction.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds assorted root vegetables, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes or coins (carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, squash)
1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1-15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 ounces dried apricots
Cilantro, roughly chopped, for serving
Couscous, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onions for 3 minutes until they start to soften. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, chili powder, salt and pepper and continue cooking for 3 minutes until fragrant.
Add the root vegetables, tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the mixture has thickened, about 25 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and dried apricots, turn the heat to low and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Top with cilantro and serve with couscous
Note: The tagine can be made in advance and frozen.