Chickpea and Squash Stew with Barley and Red Lentils

Chickpea and Squash Stew with Barley and Red Lentils
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, cook leeks until they begin to brown about 12 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


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