Despite some of the balmier days lately, I’m certain autumn is upon us after seeing multiple “It’s fall, ya’ll” signs around town.
Fall is always my favorite time of year, mostly because I’m excited to have slightly cooler temperatures that let me pull out my favorite sweatshirts, and I can start cooking up soup as much as I want without judgement. On the first cold day of this season, Joey and I immediately made a pot of chili. We couldn’t help ourselves.
This week, Joey asked if we could have something with butternut squash in it, so I started looking through recipes to see what we should try. I was kind of surprised to see that there isn’t a lot of variety out there when it comes to butternut recipes, but after a little hunting, I finally found something that looked super interesting: a Moroccan stew.
The recipe comes from the blog “Vanilla and Bean,” which contains only vegetarian recipes, so if you’re looking to include more veggies in your life, check out her site. You can find the original post at https://vanillaandbean.com/moroccan-squash-stew/. I subbed in more broth instead of water and added extra garlic in my version.
Moroccan Butternut Squash Chickpea Stew
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup onion diced (I used yellow)
- 1 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic minced
- salt to taste
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups carrots sliced into rounds
- 3 cups butternut squash peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 15 ounces chickpeas drained and rinsed
- Coconut Greek yogurt for serving optional
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for seven to 10 minutes or until they’re soft.
- Add the cinnamon, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, garlic and salt. Stir and saute for a couple minutes until the garlic starts to smell nice.
- Pour in the broth, tomatoes, carrots and squash, and stir. Bring the soup up to a boil and then turn the heat to low and put a lid on the pot. Let simmer for about 25 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.
- Add the chickpeas and cook for another five minutes to heat them through.
- Ladle soup into bowls and serve with coconut-flavored Greek yogurt on the side or spooned over the top.
This was the ultimate fall soup. It literally tasted like autumn in a bowl, and we loved it.
And we did try it with the coconut yogurt. (Be careful not to get one that’s blended with vanilla. I don’t know that it would be a great combination.) We each had a cup of it on the side, since we were too wimpy to dump a whole scoop of flavored yogurt into our bowls, but after trying several bites of the two together, I can definitively say it was really yummy. It added a completely new flavor element.
So, if the bevy of leaves filling your yard hasn’t been enough of a signal to you that fall is really here, I encourage you to break out the butternut squash and chickpeas and get to cooking. This one will instantly put you in an autumnal mood.
This piece first appeared in print on Nov. 12, 2020.
Spice Up Your Life is a weekly newspaper column written by Lindsey Young in south central Kansas and sponsored by Main Street Co. & Kitchen Corner in Newton, Kan. Visit their website at shopmainstco.com.