A resolution to cook more from my pantry inspired this hearty stew. It combines many ingredients I keep on hand, such as canned chickpeas, tomato sauce, onions, spices, and root vegetables, into a comforting vegetarian stew.
Cubes of turnip and parsnip simmer slowly in a sauce spiced with garam masala and turn into buttery bites that hold their shape nicely. Golden raisins plump up to become almost as big as the creamy chickpeas. Nearly a pint of fresh-pressed apple cider adds both acidity and sweetness to the dish, and a sprinkling of pistachios completes the stew.
Serve it up as is or with a wedge of crusty bread, and add a dollop of yogurt for good measure. It's even better on the second day, after the flavors have had an opportunity to mingle.
Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Cider Stew
2 medium turnips (about 8 ounces)
2 large parsnips
2 teaspoons ghee or unsalted butter, divided
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups apple cider or unfiltered apple juice
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup golden raisins
Chopped pistachios, for garnish
Full-fat plain yogurt, for topping (optional)
Peel the turnips and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Peel the parsnips and cut them slightly larger. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 teaspoon of the ghee or butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the garlic and garam masala and cook for 1 minute more.
Push the onions to the side of the pan and melt the remaining 1 teaspoon ghee or butter on the other side. Add the turnips and parsnips and stir to coat with the ghee. Toss in a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables to a slow cooker. Add the chickpeas, cider or juice, tomato sauce, raisins, and remaining salt. Stir well. Cover and cook on the LOW setting the turnips are tender but not mushy, about 5 hours. Slow cookers vary, so check the stew after about 4 hours. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped pistachios and a spoonful of yogurt if desired.
Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Excerpted from The Simple Bites Kitchen: Nourishing Whole Food Recipes for Every Day by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque. Copyright © 2017 by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque. Photos copyright © Tim and Angela Chin. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.