spoony sundays #1: moroccan stew

I’ve decided to start my first-ever weekly series. I’m thinking I’ll keep it around as long as the weather stays wintry though.

And so I present to you, the first episode of Spoony* Sundays. Every Sunday I will post on soup — sippable slurpable, sweet or savory, stew-like or silky. Whether or not they turn out, they’ll be here. The winners and the losers together will parade on Sundays’ pages, and I will offer commentary on their individual merit. I’ll post on as many or as few as I’ve been able to try that week.

*spoony SPOO-nee, adjective:

1. Foolish; silly; excessively sentimental.
2. Foolishly or sentimentally in love.

moroccan stew

Soup is easy, versatile, and the perfect leftover, with its flavours mellowing and blending with age. This week I bring you a Morroccan Stew whose name I can’t take credit for, but which I’ve made countless times. It’s always a pleaser, with its West-African inspired groundnut warmth and meaty sweet potato chunks. Its secret ingredient is the perfect protein supplement for vegetarians.

This is the kind of soup I often have all the ingredients for, chilling out in my cupboards and fridge. It’s often come through for me in times of potluck need, and it resembles a soup that’s become a bit of a joke between my hubby and I: We dined on it together years ago at a mutual friend’s, before we were married. The funny part is that it was a double date — he and his girlfriend at the time and me and mine. Boyfriend, that is.

Rockin’ Moroccan Stew

serves 4-6

2 tsp oil of your choice
1 cup chopped white onion
1.5 cups each diced celery and chopped bell pepper (green adds a nice colour, sometimes I’ll use both green and red)
3 cups cubed sweet potatoes (leave the peel on for extra nutrients)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp grated gingerroot
2 tsps each of ground cumin, curry powder, ground coriander, 1 tsp of chili powder, and 1/4 tsp cayenne. (Feel free to adjust these to your taste. Some like more, some like less.)
3 cups broth
1 can (19 oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (19 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed (I use low-sodium ones if I can find them)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
3 Tbsp – 1/4 cup natural peanut butter (just the peanuts, folks, none of this sugar/salt/emulsifiers/cornstarch added junk. Please check label for Ingredients: roasted peanuts.)
chopped fresh cilantro
raisins and plain yogurt

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery, green pepper, sweet potato, garlic and ginger. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes, adding the spices in the last minute or so of cooking.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients (broth through black pepper) except peanut butter and cilantro. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato chunks are done.
  3. Ladle a cup or so of the hot broth into a bowl, and whisk in the peanut butter until well blended. Add it to the soup, and simmer all for 5 more minutes. Serve hot with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro, a handful of raisins, and if you want, a dollop of yogurt.

Courtesy of Crazy Plates by Janet and Greta Podleski

Nutritional Information per 1/6th: 251 calories, 5g fat, 9g protein, 45g carbs, 4.3 g fiber, 0 cholesterol annnnnnd just because I know, 5 Weight Watchers Points.


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