Chickpea and Squash Stew with Barley and Red Lentils
This comforting vegetarian stew is spiced with Baharat a Middle Eastern spice blend.
Recipe type: Stew
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 8-10 servings
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, dicked
- 1 bunch of cilantro, stems and leaves separated
- 1 cup diced fennel
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 2½ Tablespoons Baharat (see notes)
- ½ stick of cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 quarts vegetable broth (you may use chicken broth for a non-vegetarian version)
- ½ cup pearled barley
- 2½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Large pinch of saffron (optional)
- 4 cups of chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 2 cups peeled and diced butternut squash
- ¾ cup peeled and diced turnip
- ½ cup red lentils
- Plain yogurt or plain kefir, for serving
- Garnish with cilantro leaves and a dash of Aleppo pepper or hot paprika
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, cook leeks until they begin to brown about 12 minutes.
- Chop the cilantro stems, stir into pot along with the diced fennel and chopped garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add the baharat, cinnamon stick and tomato paste. Cook for about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the broth plus 3 cups of water, add the barley and the salt. Bring to a gentle boil, stir in saffron if using and reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Stir often to keep the barley from settling on the bottom of the pot.
- Stir in the chickpeas, squash, turnip and lentils. Cook until the barley is tender about another 20-30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired, remove the cinnamon stick.
- Ladle the stew into bowls. Add a dollop of yogurt or drizzle of kefir. Garnish with cilantro leaves and add a dash of Aleppo Pepper or Hot Paprika.
Baharat is a Middle Eastern spice blend. It can be found in specialty markets or you can make your own. Mix together 2 tablespoons sweet paprika, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, and ¾ teaspoon allspice.