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Moroccan Chickpea and Vegetable Stew

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moroccan chickpea and vegetable soup

The warm and slightly sweet spice blend ras el hanout seasons this hearty stew.

This stew is seasoned with a prized Moroccan spice blend called ras el hanout, which offers a well-balanced, curry-like flavor that is anti-inflammatory, warming, and slightly sweet. Find it at natural food stores and specialty shops, or make your own blend (see recipe below).

Note that cauliflower contains goitrogens, a substance found in cruciferous vegetables that research suggests may work against thyroid health. But many functional-medicine practitioners believe this veggie contains too many beneficial nutrients to avoid; enjoy it cooked rather than raw.

Makes six servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs. freshly grated gingerroot
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1½ cups chopped cauliflower
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 15-oz. can coconut milk
  • 1 to 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 to 3 tbs. ras el hanout
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 cups chopped Swiss chard
  • Toasted coconut (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions

In a large soup pot, heat ghee or oil over medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic, gingerroot, carrots, celery, and cauliflower for five to six minutes.

Add broth, coconut milk, water, quinoa, and ras el hanout, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes to allow quinoa to cook thoroughly.

Add chickpeas and cook for an additional two to three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, place about a ½ cup of chopped Swiss chard in the bottom of each soup bowl and cover with soup. Stir well and allow chard to wilt. Garnish with toasted coconut or fresh cilantro, if desired.

Tip: Substitute orange cauliflower, if available, for a boost in carotenoids, a phytonutrient that supports skin and eye health.

Ras el Hanout Spice Blend

The name of this prized Moroccan spice blend translates to “top-shelf,” meaning it’s the best a spice seller has to offer. It’s not fiery hot, but it is warming in flavor. The cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg add pleasing sweet notes. Make extra and store in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

Makes: 3 tbs.
Prep time: five minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. paprika
  • ¾ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. cardamom powder
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions 

Combine spices and stir until well mixed.

Recipes excerpted with permission from The Essential Thyroid Cookbook by Lisa Markley and Jill Grunewald, published by Blue Wheel PressTM. Text © 2017 by Lisa Markley and Jill Grunewald. Food photography © 2016 by Kenny Johnson.

Why No Numbers? Readers sometimes ask us why we don’t publish nutrition information with our recipes. We believe that (barring specific medical advice to the contrary) if you’re eating primarily whole, healthy foods — an array of sustainably raised vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, meats, fish, eggs, whole-kernel grains, and healthy fats and oils — you probably don’t need to stress about the numbers. We prefer to focus on food quality and trust our bodies to tell us what we need.  — The Editors

coauthored The Essential Thyroid Cookbook (www.thyroidcookbook.com), from which these recipes are selected. Dietitian Lisa Markley, MS, RDN, and integrative nutrition and hormone coach Jill Grunewald, HNC, guide clients with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s back to health.

Food photography by Kenny Johnson; Food styling by Anne Fisher

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