By Joanne Bruno | November 28, 2011

A weekend of holiday eating always makes me feel like, come Monday, I should shove as many vegetables into my mouth as possible, both to even the calorie playing field and to get rid of that heavy awful feeling that settles at the pit of my stomach after day-upon-day of eating rich and decadent foods.

Enter this stew, which is richly flavored with Moroccan spices so it won’t leave you pining for the hedonistic fare of holidays past, and so full of vegetables and whole grains and legumes, that your insides will be jumping for joy.

Moroccan-Spiced Root Vegetable Barley Stew Recipe

Serves 8-10, adapted from Gourmet 

Ingredients:
3/4 cup dried chickpeas
1 cup barley
1/2 tsp saffron, crumbled
2 medium tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp tomato paste
6 cups water
1 tsp ras-el-hanout
3/4 lb carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and chopped into half moons
2 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise and chopped into half moons
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and chopped into half moons
1/2 medium green cabbage, cut into strips
3/4 lb butternut squash, seeded and cut into two-inch pieces
2 tbsp harissa
3 tbsp honey
1 cup barley
salt, to taste

Directions

Soak dried chickpeas in water overnight. Drain and then combine with 6 cups cold water in a large saucepan. Add a large pinch of salt and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 1 hours.

In a separate saucepan, start to cook the barley. Put barley and 3 cups water in pan. Add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 40-45 minutes or until barley is tender and almost all of the water has evaporated.

While these are cooking, halve the tomatoes and grate them on large round holes of a box grater, discarding the skin. Put oil, grated tomatoes, onions, pepper, ginger, salt, tomato paste and saffron in a large pot. Cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until onions are softened, about 10 minutes. Add water and ras-el-hanout and bring broth to a simmer.

Add the carrots and parsnips to the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Add zucchini, cabbage, and butternut squash to the broth. Cook, covered, until the vegetables are almost tender. Stir in the cooked chickpeas and cooked barley.

Stir the harissa and honey into the stew and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Enjoy!

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