Moroccan “Beef” Stew

I think I may have found my new favorite soup. And of course, it’s all thanks to Oprah! This recipe was in the latest issue of O Magazine, and the picture looked so good, I knew I had to try it. Instead of the beef I used two bags of Gardein’s Beefless Tips. I treated them just as they treated the meat. I even let everything cook for 45 minutes. I figured that was to help the carrots get soft, so I went with it. I didn’t add quite as much salt as this calls for (I left out about a teaspoon), because I figured the Gardein was already a little seasoned. First of all, this soup smells wonderful! We all really liked this soup, and Toby had THREE bowls of it! He said he knew he shouldn’t go for bowl #3, but he couldn’t help it! I am glad he didn’t go for bowl #4, because I get to have some for lunch now!

rating: 9.8

Moroccan “Beef” Stew
(O magazine, Jan. 2012)

Active time: 25 minutes
Total time: 1½ hours

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1¼ pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cut into ¾ cubes (I used 2 bags of Gardein’s Beefless Tips)
2 tsp. salt, divided, plus more to taste
½ tsp. ground black pepper, divided, plus more to taste
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sweet paprika
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
6 cups beef or chicken broth (I used vegetarian beef broth)
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup dried spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces
6 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)- I omitted
1 large lemon, cut into 6 wedges- I omitted

Directions:

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add beef, 1 tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until no juices remain and meat is browned, about 10 minutes.

Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, garlic, carrot, onion, and ½ tsp. salt and cook until vegetables are softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until beef is just tender, about 45 minutes; skim off and discard any foam on surface while cooking, if needed.

Add chickpeas, spaghetti, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper and continue to cook, covered, until spaghetti is al dente, 10 to 15 minutes more.

To serve: Season to taste with salt and pepper, then ladle soup into bowls and garnish with cilantro (if using) and lemon wedges on the side.

Freeze up to 8 weeks.

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