Seven Vegetable Couscous

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time30 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy

For the seven-vegetable stew

3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 small turnips, peeled and quartered
1 medium yellow onion, quartered lengthwise, root end intact
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into 5-cm chunks
1/2 fennel bulb, thickly sliced lengthwise, root end intact
45g sultanas
15g chopped, fresh ginger
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp each ground cumin, paprika, and sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
475ml water
450g butternut squash
1 small courgette, cut into 5-cm rounds
1 (440g) tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, tied together with kitchen string
200g tinned whole peeled tomatoes, with their juices

For the couscous

475ml cold water
15g unsalted butter
1 tsp coarse grain salt
250g uncooked couscous
70g sliced almonds, toasted
For the stew:

1) Put the garlic, turnips, onion, carrot, fennel, sultanas, ginger, salt, cumin, paprika, sugar, turmeric, cloves, and cinnamon in a large soup pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add 475ml water and bring to the boil over high heat; cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are somewhat soft, about 10 minutes.

2) Halve and seed the butternut squash and cut it into wedges. Tie parsley sprigs together with kitchen string. Add squash, courgettes, chickpeas, and parsley sprigs to the pot. Using your fingers and working over the pot, tear the tomatoes into big pieces and add them to the pot with their juices.

3) Simmer the stew, covered, until it is slightly thick and fragrant, and the vegetables are fork tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. (You can test the vegetables a bit sooner, remove them as soon as they are tender, and return them to the pot when you are ready to serve. All the vegetables should be tender enough to cut with the side of a fork, but still hold their shapes.) Remove cinnamon sticks.

For the couscous:

1) Bring water to the boil with the butter and salt in a small saucepan. Stir in the couscous, pull the saucepan off the heat, cover, and set aside until the water has been absorbed and the couscous is plump, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and fluff with a fork.

2) To serve, spread the couscous over a large serving platter and, using a slotted spoon, mound the vegetables in the center. Pour some of the broth over the vegetables and sprinkle with the almonds. Pass the remaining broth and the harissa, if desired, at the table.

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