My ever-growing cookbook collections is easily one of my favorite parts of my office.
When I’m struggling for recipe inspiration, or am feeling stressed about work, I pull out a cookbook and get myself a mug of tea. I flip slowly through the pages, jotting down a list of the recipes I want to try, and sliding a bookmark between the pages of the recipes I want to try right-this-very-second. Oftentimes, I come up with other ideas of recipe spin-offs I could try, and I write those down, too. I find it calming, to be disconnected from the internet for a little bit, to be reading and yet still feel productive.
Soon, I’ll have a window seat with a built-in bookcase in my office, so I suspect that will become my favorite spot in the room. I can’t wait to sit by the window, cuddled under a quilt, flipping through cookbooks.
This recipe didn’t come from a cookbook, really. But it was inspired by one. As I was reading about the spice palates used in different cuisines, I wrote a note of the spices and ingredients often used in a few new-to-me cuisines. When I was flipping through my recipe notebook looking for inspiration for pumpkin month, I came across the note about Moroccan flavors, with a big star next to it. It was the perfect cure for my how-do-I-make-pumpkin-soup-more-flavorful dilemma.
This spicy, flavorful pumpkin stew is easily made vegetarian with the use of vegetable stock instead of chicken. If you'd like to add a little crunch, try sprinkling some sliced almonds on top as a garnish as well.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2" fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound pumpkin, peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
- 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 4 Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
- 16 ounces crushed tomatoes, plus the juice
- 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups chopped kale
- Cilantro, for garnishing
- Cooked white or brown rice, for serving
- Heat the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium or medium-high heat. Add the ginger, garlic and onion and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onion is a bit translucent.
- Add the cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper, and stir well, so that all of the aromatics are coated with the spice. Your onions should be a bright red-orange color by the end. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin, chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes + juice and stock. Stir well to mix everything together, scraping the bottom of the pot as you do to incorporate the onions, garlic and ginger. Your pot may be very full by now, so be careful as you stir, so that none of the stew splashes over the edge.
- Increase the heat a bit, and bring the stew to a simmer. Cook until the pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork, which should take 15-20 minutes.
- Stir in the kale, and allow the stew to simmer for another minute or two, just until the kale wilts.
- Remove the stew from the heat. Serve over rice, and garnish with cilantro.