Spiced Butternut and Chickpea Stew

by Lucas Hollweg


1 ping-pong ball-sized preserved lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
12 saffron thronds
A good pinch of crushed chilli flakes
600g (1lb 5oz) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm (3/4 in) cubes
2 x 400g (14oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g (14oz) can chopped plum tomatoes
Juice of 1 orange
500ml (18fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
5 bulging handfuls of baby spinach leaves
2 handfuls of coriander leaves
Greek yoghurt, to serve


Cut the preserved lemon into quarters. Scoop out and discard the pulp and finely chop the peel. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Stir in the onion and let it cook gently for 6-7 minutes, or until soft and pale gold, then add the garlic, spices and lemon peel and stir for a minute or so more. Tip in the squash and chickpeas and stir everything together so it's thoroughly mixed. Add the tomatoes, orange juice and stock. Season, and bring to a simmer, then cook, uncovered, over a medium heat for 40-45 minutes, or until the squash is squash, pushing the bits under the surface and stir through until it is wilted and soft. Season well, tasting as you go - you'll need at least another 1/4 teaspoon of salt, probably more - then mix in most of the coriander. Pile into bowls, scattering each one with more coriander and adding a blob of Greek yoghurt.

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