Seven is a lucky number in Jewish tradition, so a soup or stew featuring seven vegetables is a Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) favorite among Sephardic Jews. Despite the longish ingredient list, it’s easy and quick enough to serve as a mid-week main dish even if you don’t observe the Jewish New Year. Feel free to replace other veggies for the ones listed below. Want a gluten-free version? Substitute quinoa for the couscous. From Vegan Holiday Kitchen. Photo by Susan Voisin, FatFree Vegan Kitchen.
- 1 1/2 cups couscous, preferably whole grain
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegan buttery spread, like Earth Balance
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 heaping cup thinly shredded green cabbage
- 1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
- 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced l/4-inch thick
- 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced l/4-inch thick
- 1 1/2 cups cooked or canned (drained and rinsed) chickpeas
- 1 1/2 cups diced ripe tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon each: ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt
- 1/2 cup golden raisins or finely chopped dried apricots
- 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup sliced or slivered toasted almonds
Combine the couscous and 3 cups boiling water in a heatproof bowl. Cover and let stand until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then stir in the margarine, turmeric and salt. Cover and set aside.
For the vegetable stew, heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over moderate heat until translucent. Stir in cabbage and sauté until both it and the onion are lightly golden.
Add remaining stew ingredients. Bring to a simmer, then over and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes. Add water as needed to produce a moist, but not soupy, consistency. The vegetables should be tender, but still firm.
To serve, arrange the couscous on the outer edge of a large serving platter. Pour vegetable mixture in the center, then sprinkle with the garnishes. Let each guest place a mound of couscous on his or her dinner plate and top it with the vegetable mixture.
Variation: For a gluten-free variation, use quinoa in place of couscous. Use 1 1/2 cups quinoa, and simmer gently in 3 cups water until the water is absorbed.