Slow cooker North African squash and chickpea stew,                     

It’s that time again! Yes it’s cold enough for stews. I haven’t had the slow cooker out for ages so, I thought I’d dust it off.
I fancied something a bit different. Sweet and spicy and veggie packed!

I also got to use the wonderful moombeam squash we purchased the other week. It’s white fleshed so a bit different!
Ps you can do it on the hob if you don’t have a slow cooker.   
800g of squash and carrots. Slightly biased towards squash.
2 onions
2 garlic cloves
Approx 15 dried apricots (the soft ones)                                           
1 can chickpeas             
2tbsp lemon juice          
1tsp each cumin and coriander
½ tsp garam masala  
Pinch chilli power.    
2 bay leaves     
Vegetable stock to cook (see method)

1) Roughly chop carrot, squash and onion and finely chop garlic.
2) In a little oil, fry onion until soft, now add garlic and cool until just browned.
3) Add spices and cook for a couple of minutes until aromatic but not burnt. Add veggies and stir so    everything is coated. Transfer into slow cooker (if using)
4) Now get your veg stock and pit in enough so it just comes to the side of the pieces of veg. Add the bay leaves.
5) Add 1tsp of agave and season well with pepper. Leave to cook in slow cooker for 5-6hrs or, if on hob, bring to a boil and simmer covered, until veg is soft.
6) When the veg is nice and soft, add the lemon and chickpeas. Give it a taste and season more if you need to. Cook until heated through well.
Fab with bread and or couscous.