As you know from a previous post, I looooove my Crock-pot. The fact that I can throw a bunch of vegetables and some stock in this thing, turn it on, and come back five to seven hours later to a gorgeous dinner just thrills me. (Things have changed a lot since I was in my twenties.)

Now, as you know from reading Cherries in Winter, no one in my family is Moroccan, but my hubbins Nathan and I love the sweet-and-savory mixture in Moroccan food. So I searched the web for a Moroccan vegetable stew recipe that could be made in a slow cooker. I found one from Sunset but tweaked it a lot to suit my tastes (more spices!) and Nathan’s (less cayenne!). Here it is:

Mo’ Rockin’ Vegetable Stew
It rocks!

Ingredients:
2 or so tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic or 1 teaspoon of dried garlic
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 tablespoon salt
5 cups vegetable stock (or 5 cups of water and 2 1/2 vegetable stock cubes)
1 large sweet potato or yam, diced
4 carrots, sliced into 1/2″ thick coins
2 1/2 cups peeled diced eggplant
1 medium yellow squash, sliced and quartered
2 cups cauliflower florets (freeze chopped stems for soup stock)
1 medium-sized onion, diced
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) stewed or chopped tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste (unseasoned)
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans (or “chic” peas, as I like to call them)
1 cup roughly chopped almonds, toasted
3/4 cup raisins and/or currants and/or chopped dried apricots

Preparation:
If you’re letting the stew cook while you’re out: Turn slow-cooker on low. Put vegetable stock in slow-cooker, or boil water and stock cubes until cubes are dissolved and put in slow-cooker. Add spices and salt, stir, and add all other ingredients (except for fruit) and stir. Half an hour before serving, remove three cups of stew and put in blender. Hold blender lid down with kitchen towel, being careful of steam. Blend or pulse on low. Put puree back in stew and add fruit. Cook for another half hour. Serve over couscous and enjoy.
If you’re making this while you’re at home: Follow above instructions for stock, spices, and salt. Then add tomatoes, tomato paste, chick peas, sweet potato, cauliflower, and eggplant. Let cook for four hours on high, unless stew starts to bubble over–then switch to low. Taste every now and then and adjust spices. I like to taste, then sniff each spice; that usually tells me what the stew needs.
Add zucchini two hours before serving. Add toasted almonds one hour before serving. Half an hour before serving, remove three cups of stew and put in blender. Hold blender lid down with kitchen towel, being careful of steam. Blend or pulse on low. Put puree back in stew and add fruit. Cook for another half hour. Serve over couscous and enjoy.

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