A couple months ago, my "traveling" supper club took a break just as we were about to visit Morocco. (Remember those b'stillas I told you about?) Well, we have bravely returned to the business of cooking and enjoying delicious food and wine together--not without a good dash of jubilation--picking back up at Morocco! We savored spicy keftas (meatballs), flatbread, baba ganoush, a butternut squash and chickpea ragout sweet with cinnamon, a chicken, cilantro, and rice dish, as well as this stew of tomatoes, chickpeas, and spices.
Wanting to expand my Moroccan repertoire beyond b'stillas, I looked around on the internet for (what I hoped were) authentic recipes. I found some descriptions of a tomato chickpea stew called harira, and cobbling together various recipes I ended up with this soup or stew. It's a fun medley of ingredients; chickpeas, lentils, and orzo pasta each contribute a unique shape and texture, a number of spices weave a deep flavor profile, and lemon juice and herbs add a light, fresh finish. It's super easy to make, healthy, and vegan-friendly (just replace the chicken broth), not to mention tasty! Four good reasons why you should try this Moroccan dish out.
Moroccan Chickpea Stew
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 small celery rib (including leaves), finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 (15 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
2 1/2 cups water
1 (35 oz.) can crushed tomatoes in puree (about 4 cups)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup red lentils
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
3/4 cup dried orzo pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Extra lemon wedges for serving
Combine the first 14 ingredients plus 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro in a large heavy pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. (Can be made ahead to this point.)
Before serving, stir in orzo pasta and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining cilantro, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and salt to taste. Garnish with more cilantro as desired and serve with lemon wedges.