Moroccan Vegetable Stew

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We're all over the world this week, and it's only Tuesday!?  As I mentioned, I got the second of my two winter CSA shares on Saturday, and I found myself with even more carrots and parsnips . . . now, I will admit to you that while I like carrots, upwards of 8 lbs. of carrots is a bit much for me.  And parsnips?  I really want to like parsnips, but I just don't.  I'll admit it.  They're a little licorice-y or something on their own.  But as I have also said, I hate to waste food.  So I went looking for inspiration on the 'net - and I came up with a flavorful way to use up a boatload of root vegetables (and a butternut squash . . . 'cause I now have 7 of them). 

Moroccan Vegetable Stew

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
5 small, or 1 very large onion, chopped (my CSA onions are quite small, but also very tasty)
1/2 t. bottled minced garlic
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 t. cinnamon
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 large turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 carton (32 oz.) low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup dried currants
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (remember, Eden brand has no BPA in its can linings)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

 

Heat the oil in a very large, heavy pot over medium-high heat (I used my 7 1/4-in. Dutch oven).  Add onion to the pot and saute until golden, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.  Add the curry powder, cumin and cinnamon and stir for 30 seconds.  Add the squash, parsnips, carrots turnips, rutabaga, broth and currants.  Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and beans to pot. Simmer until flavors blend, at least 10 minutes longer (but this can simmer for much longer and the flavors will deepen). Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves an army.  In fact, I'm taking the rest of the week off from posting, 'cause this is what I'm going to be having for breakfast, lunch and dinner, there's so much of it.  Just kidding.  But seriously, if you're in the 'hood with a Tupperware, stop by for a schmeck.  It's good stuff.  You can fool around and add whatever veggies you have on hand - and sweet potatoes would be good in lieu of the squash.  If you like, you could serve this over whole wheat couscous and it'd be super.  But it's great straight-up.

A note on butternut squash.  I officially conquered my fear of preparing a butternut squash on Sunday.  Mark it on your calendar.  Yes, you read correctly - survived cancer but freaked by a gourd.  And you'll never guess who helped me through?  The oil-burner guy.  I wish I remembered his name, but he was here a couple weeks ago and he gave me great advice (he noticed my CSA stash in the basement, in case you're wondering how the heck this subject came up).  Mr. Burner Guy said:  Cut a little off the top and bottom of the squash.  Then stand it up on its big end and cut it vertically down the middle.  Then cut each half into a few wide, horizontal slices.  Stand each slice on its widest end, and carefully cut the peel off the outside of each slice by running your knife between the peel and the squash - this is very similar to the method used to segment a citrus fruit. Then slice and/or cube the squash according to your recipe directions.  Looks beautiful, and no severed digits!  Works like a dream . . . as does my burner.