Moroccan Squash, Chickpea & Kale Stew

Adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe

Tips:
1.      This tastes way better a day or two after it’s made.
2.      Don’t bypass the feta/lemon zest/olive oil topping, it takes the whole dish up a notch.
3.      If you’re short of time, you could swap out the cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, fennel seeds and ground coriander for a ras el hanout spice mix (available from the CC). Add it along with the garlic.
4.      If you are using a squash with a tough or ridged skin that makes it hard to peel (e.g. acorn) just chop it in half, rub oil on the chopped edges and roast with the skin on. Once it’s soft, scoop out the flesh and discard the skin.

 Serves 6

 Ingredients

4 tomatoes, halved
4 tablespoons oil plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
500g squash, peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks
200g kale, tough central stalks removed and leaves shredded
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, sliced
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained
Tin of chopped tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp turmeric
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon harissa
10 prunes
750ml vegetable stock
100g feta, crumbled
1 lemon, zested then cut into wedges
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
Handful fresh coriander leaves

Method

1.      Heat oven to 200C / 180C fan / gas 5. Put the halved tomatoes on one baking sheet and the squash on another, drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over each (see above for how to deal with tough-skinned squash) and roast in the oven for 20 mins or until both are soft. Set aside.

2.      Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook over a low heat until softened, then add the thyme leaves, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, harissa and ground coriander. Cook for one more minute until the spices toast and become fragrant.

3.      Add the roast tomatoes, chickpeas, prunes, bay leaf and roast squash and stir to coat in the spices. Pour in the stock and tinned tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, season to taste and simmer for 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced a little.

4.      While it’s simmering, put the feta in a small bowl and add the olive oil and the lemon zest. Mix well and set aside. Toast the fennel seeds in a frying pan for 1 minute, then lightly crush with a pestle and mortar, or in a bowl with the back of a rolling pin.

5.      Add the kale to the stew and cook for a couple of minutes until tender. Serve in bowls, topped with a scoop of lemony feta, a sprinkling of coriander leaves and fennel seeds, and lemon wedges on the side.