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Moroccan-Spiced Vegetarian Chili

Moroccan-Spiced Vegetarian Chili
Serve this richly spiced vegetarian chili with toasted pita points or on a bed of steamed couscous or rice. Other winter squashes, such as Hubbard or acorn, may be used in place of the butternut squash.

Ingredients:

  • 4 large ancho chilies
  • 3 cups water
  • 4 large whole garlic cloves, plus 6 large cloves, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 can (28 oz.) chopped tomatoes
  • 1 butternut squash, 1 1/4 lb., halved, seeded, peeled and cut into
      1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cans (15 1/2 oz. each) chickpeas
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/3 cup sliced dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup sliced pitted prunes

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine the chilies and water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the chilies to a work surface; reserve the liquid. Discard the stems and seeds from the chilies. In a food processor or blender, combine the chilies with the whole garlic cloves and 1/2 cup of the liquid. Process until smooth. Set aside.

Heat a heavy pot over medium heat. Coat the pot with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onion, the sliced garlic cloves, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and coriander and sauté until the onion and garlic have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, butternut squash and the chili puree. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is just tender, about 25 minutes.

Stir in the chickpeas with their liquid, the zucchini, dried apricots and prunes. Simmer, uncovered, until all of the squashes are tender, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve hot.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Fresh & Light, by Lane Crowther (Time-Life Books, 1998).