Slow Cooker Root Vegetable Stew

When slowly cooked, root vegetables morph into sweet deliciousness. Use vegetable (or mushroom) broth here, and you’ve got a hearty, vegan, and gluten-free dinner.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, large dice
Kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch saffron threads
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 large), large dice
1 pound carrots (about 4 to 5 medium), peeled and large dice
1 pound parsnips (about 4 medium), peeled and large dice
3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 pounds sugar baby pumpkin or butternut squash (about 1 small), peeled, seeded, and large dice
1 pound sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and large dice
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup golden raisins, also known as sultanas
1 bunch spinach, trimmed and washed (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar, plus more as needed

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, cayenne, saffron, and a pinch of pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Transfer the mixture to a slow cooker, add the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and broth, season with salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours.

Add the pumpkin or squash, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and raisins, season with salt, and stir to combine. Cover and continue to cook on high until a knife easily pierces the vegetables, about 2 hours more, stirring after 1 hour. Add the spinach and gently mix (do not overmix). Let sit until wilted. Gently stir in the vinegar, taste, and season with more salt, pepper, and vinegar as needed.

Makes: 6 to 8 servings


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