In a shallow dutch oven, warm 3 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in the mirepoix, and saute until onions just begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and cook for another minute.
How to Bloom Spices: Add the spices in batches so as to not overwhelm the oil. After adding each spice, cook it for about 30 seconds, adding more oil if needed. Then rinse and repeat. During this time the spices will become extremely aromatic. Do not let them burn!
NOTE: Many spices and some herbs are largely fat-soluble. This means you will get more flavor from them by steeping them in oil than liquid. Literally up to 10x more flavor! But frying them in oil means you can also easily burn them. This process also makes for a much more even flavor.
Add the can of chopped tomatoes and the vegetable broth and bring to a low simmer. You can add up to 1/2 cup vegetable broth for a saucier dish.
Add in the cubed butternut squash and return to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in the chickpeas and cook for another 5 minutes. Let simmer until squash reaches desired tenderness. Add salt and pepper.
Turn off the heat and mix in half of the cilantro. Top off with remaining cilantro, cover, and serve.
This dish is great the next day after all the flavors have the chance to meld. Serve over rice. Basmati if you wanna go traditional but I love brown rice or quinoa.