4 Tablespoons olive oil
2 sweet onions, chopped
1 large jalapeño pepper, chopped and seeded if desired
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons fresh ginger root, grated
2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
1 generous teaspoon ground turmeric
1 generous teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 fennel bulb, diced (save fronds for garnish)|
1 very large bunch chard (any type), stems sliced 1/2-inch thick, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large turnip, peeled and diced
3 – 15 oz canned of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup dried apricots, diced
2 Tablespoons preserved lemon, chopped – more to taste
½ cup cilantro, chopped – more for garnish
Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Add onion and jalapeño (if using) and sauté until limp, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, salt, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and cayenne and sauté until they release their fragrance, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and sauté for another minute (be careful not to burn the tomato paste).
Add fennel, chard stems, carrot and turnip and continue to sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add chickpeas and enough water to barely cover the contents of your pot.
Boost the heat to high and then bring stew to a simmer. Partially cover the pot, lower heat to medium low, and simmer for about 40 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
Add chard leaves, dried apricots and preserved lemon to pot and continue simmering until chard is tender, about 5 minutes longer.
Adjust seasoning and serve. Garnished with cilantro and reserved fennel fronds.