Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tunisian Vegetable Stew

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This is a modified recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 of a small Savoy cabbage, sliced thin (about 3 cups)
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 16-ounce can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/3 cup of raisins or currants (optional)
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • toasted sliced almonds (optional)
In a large pot, saute onions in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sliced cabbage, sprinkle with a dash of salt and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add sliced bell pepper, ground coriander, ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper and turmeric. Saute for another minute. Add canned tomatoes, chickpeas, vegetable stock and currants or raisins. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Top with sliced almonds if desired.

This stew is everything that vegetarian soup should be - flavorful, fresh, complex and delicious. It has a little bit of everything; it's sweet, tart, spicy, savory, crunchy and creamy. Although raisins and currants are optional in this recipe, they add another layer of flavor and bursts of sweetness. You can also top it with crumbled feta cheese, but I'm very happy with this recipe even without the cheese.

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