Spicy Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew

I saw a meme the other day that proclaimed late February and early March “second winter.”  Boy is that the truth.  I don’t know how y’all up in Minnesota do it.  Hats off to you..err rather hats on.  Keep them on.  I like cold weather, but -58 is something else.  I literally cannot fathom what that feels like.  Chicago, same to you.  Great city, love visiting, but I’m good with not living somewhere that considers routinely lighting train tracks on fire a safety precaution.

I’m definitely a southern kind of girl.  I like all four seasons, but it’s March and that means it time for spring to show up.  The good part of spring, mind you.  The part where it isn’t just 50 and drizzly everyday.  The part where it’s sunny and birds are chirping and you can sit outside and feel the sun on your skin, even if it is still a bit chilly out.

It’s supposed to be just above freezing for the next couple of days.  So if winter is to continue, which apparently it is, at least we can have soup.  (That groundhog has some explaining to do, amirite?)  More specifically a soup packed with tender, colorful vegetables and a generous amount of spices that add bold, earthy, spicy flavor.  The recipe is big, but don’t shy away from making the whole batch.  It’s vegan, so keeps beautifully in the fridge all week long and gets even better as convenient lunches or dinners for busy weeknights.

Winter, you can start making your way toward the door.  I’ll wait with a cozy bowl of soup while you get your things together.

spicy sweet potato chickpea stew

An irresistible blend of spices bring canned tomatoes and winter vegetables from common to craveworthy in this vegan spicy sweet potato and chickpea stew.

Spicy Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew
an Apple a Day original

1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ras al hanout or turmeric
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
1 (15-oz. can) chickpeas
1 (15-oz. can) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3 c. vegetable broth
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. cubes
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley, divided
salt and black pepper, to taste

1.  Warm the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and carrots and sauté until beginning to soften, 5 minutes.  Add garlic, cumin, ras al hanout or turmeric, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and salt and sauté 2 minutes more, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.

2.  Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, broth, and sweet potatoes.  Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to medium.  Cook until sweet potatoes are tender, approximately 20 minutes.  Add 2 TBSP parsley, taste, and adjust seasoning.

3.  To serve, divide among four bowls and top with additional parsley.

yield: 4 main course servings

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