Flavours of Morocco-Inspired Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 19 votes

Wholesome vegetable and chickpea stew inspired by Moroccan flavours--lots of warm spices and a little textural interest from chopped dates. The warm spice mixture that includes cinnamon can also be traced to harira.

An overhead shot of vegetable and chickpea stew on a light grey background. The stew is deep red and has a scoop of brown rice on top.
Side angle shot of vegetable and chickpea stew on a light grey background.
Carrot greens in harsh light with a hand beginning to pull some of the greens out of the ground.
Kale growing in a garden in harsh light.


You can file this one under “stuff I actually make with frequency.” Most of the time I just have an idea in an offhand sort of way and it ends up here. Then there’s that pile of old reliables that I make all the time, without even thinking that maybe they could be awesome and useful for others.

I really wanted the ritual of a leisurely, stew-centered afternoon, just to usher in Fall. The air smells like crushed grape skins and crunchy, slowly-fading leaves at night. I got a new mug for all those hot beverages and our apple tree is just loaded right now.

But on this stew! The first time I had a totally vegan dining experience, I ate something like this. I read “sweet potatoes, warm spices, smoky tomatoes, wilted greens etc etc,” on the menu and knew that I would love it. It was familiar, comforting, a bit new to me in some ways, and it came with a fluffy scoop of grains.

On the menu, this was called “Moroccan Stew.” From some Googling and poking around, I am gathering that the flavours and texture were inspired by harira, a tomato-based soup with chickpeas, lentils and a warm mixture of spices that includes cinnamon. I will note that every recipe I read for harira involved a thickening agent such as eggs or flour, and often some type of meat. I think the inspiration for the restaurant dish that I’m recalling was in flavour profile only. If you like, you can read more about harira and its association with Ramadan on the Taste of Marco site.

Shortly after this dinner, I was sold on the whole plant-based way of life. Then I figured out how to make this beautifully spiced vegetable and chickpea stew home! I add chopped dates and a little lemon zest, go heavy on the warm spices–the cinnamon is the best part–and I utilize one of my fave pantry items: fire roasted crushed tomatoes. Getting real cozy here!

If you like this stew, I bet you’ll also enjoy this sweet potato salad that’s inspired by the same flavours!

Four prep photos for this vegetable stew: 2 deep red heirloom carrots on a cutting board, the carrots chopped on the cutting board, a container of Medjool dates in a white background, and an open can of chickpeas near a stainless steel sink.
An overhead shot of Moroccan-inspired vegetable and chickpea stew in a light beige Dutch oven with a wooden spoon sticking out on a light grey background. The stew is deep red and topped with lots of chopped parsley and cilantro.
An overhead shot of bowls of Moroccan-inspired vegetable and chickpea stew on a light grey background. The stew is deep red and both bowls are garnished with a scoop of brown and wild rice mixture.

Morocco-Inspired Vegetable and Chickpea Stew

Wholesome vegetable and chickpea stew inspired by Moroccan flavours–lots of warm spices and a little textural interest from chopped dates.
5 from 19 votes
An overhead shot of a Morocco-inspired vegetable and chickpea stew with a scoop of mixed brown rice on top. The soup is in a red patterned bowl on top of a grey background in evening light.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

Stew

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, small dice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable stock, plus extra
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups chopped greens of choice , kale, spinach, collards etc

To Serve

  • chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro
  • finely grated lemon zest
  • cooked grain of choice , such as brown rice, quinoa, millet, or couscous

Notes

  • I like to slowly cook the onions and spices out in the oil before I add everything else, almost stewing them in a way. The raw-ness of the spice goes away and the onions almost “melt” into the soup. If your onions are browning too fast during this process, just lower the heat a bit.

Instructions

  • Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and lower heat until they are sizzling kind of quietly. Once the onions are a bit soft and translucent, add the cinnamon, cumin, coriander and chili flakes. Slowly sauté and stir this mix until the onions are really, really soft, about 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the chopped dates, carrots and sweet potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables in the spices and oil. Add the tomatoes and stir. Add the vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a boil and simmer until the sweet potatoes are just tender, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Add the chopped yellow peppers and chickpeas and stir the soup. Season the whole thing again with salt and pepper. Simmer until the yellow peppers are tender and the sweet potatoes are quite soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the greens to the pot (and more stock if necessary) and cook for 1 minute, or until just-wilted. Check the soup for seasoning and serve it hot with cooked grains, drizzles of olive oil, lemon zest and chopped herbs.
26/09/2013 (Last Updated 03/08/2023)
Posted in: autumn, carrots, chickpeas, earthy, gluten free, kale, main course, nut free, refined sugar-free, salty, side dish, soup, sour, spicy, spring, summer, sweet, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, vegan, winter

72 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Jay Underwood

    5 stars
    Loved it! Added Calabrian chiles and used Sunmaid dates as I couldn’t find fresh.

  • Alex

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! I garnished with some walnuts too for a little crunch, but SO good

  • Julie

    Made this for dinner tonight and it is Delicious! Thank you for a great and easy recipe. 

  • Leilani Battle

    5 stars
    This stew is delicious! I used raisins instead of dates and used freshly ground coriander.

  • Donna Williams

    5 stars
    Add dried apricot or cranraisins instead of dates.

  • Haku

    5 stars
    Loved this easy balanced recipe

  • Ling Pang

    what’s the nutrition information, calorie and potassium…

  • Sharon

    Will make tonight and post tomorrow.

  • Halli

    Super tasty! I combined this recipe with a recipe from Kris Carr’s “Crazy sexy kitchen” by adding some artichoke hearts and raisins as well! Yumm (and, lunches/dinners for a good portion of the week, yay.)

  • Augusta

    I just wanted to come on here and say this is my favorite recipe of all time. It’s easy to make, so healthy, and sooo delicious. I have made it countless times and will continue to! This might sound weird but I love eating the leftovers cold with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Thank you for this recipe!

  • Christine

    Wow! I made this yesterday and am eating leftovers today. Amazing! Love the flavors and how hearty it is. Quick and easy to make and my house smelled wonderful while cooking. Already thinking about making it again for friends. Thank you!

  • Stephanie

    Made tonight. Added mushrooms. Left out greens (just didn’t have any). Used red pepper instead of chili flakes – again, just what I had. It was amazing!!! I will make again. Being gluten free and pescatarian, I miss soup/stew so much.

  • Galina

    This stew is so delicious! It fills the entire house with a beutiful spicy aroma. My carnivorous husband couldn’t get enough!
    I’ll be making this dish again for a potluck in a couple of days. May add beans.
    Thank you for these inspired easy to follow recipes!

  • R

    Wow! I just tasted this and I’m blown away at how good it is! We are just starting our vegetarian journey (not that I cooked meat before since we couldn’t afford it and I don’t like it) and it is inspiring to try such an amazing yet affordable dish.

  • SFS

    So delicious! I love this recipe so much I’ve made it twice in the last week and both times used different combinations of veggies on top of the ones you list (eggplant, cauliflower, zucchini, shallots, cabbage, raisins instead of dates…). I also added about 1/4 tsp. tumeric and 1/4 tsp paprika, some extra cumin and harissa paste for spice, and adjusted/added spices at the end depending on how much broth I used. I followed the recipe loosely but was pretty lazy about it aside from cooking the spices with the onions and oil and mostly just let it cook long enough so that all the veggies were soft. Seems like you can’t mess it up! This is going to be a staple at our house from now on!