This delicious Moroccan-inspired stew looks as good as it tastes. It's a wonderful way to warm up cold season dinners, with sweet sugar pumpkin or butternut squash in an aromatic broth. This can also be a wonderful choice for fall Jewish holidays — Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year)and Sukkoth. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons by Nava Atlas. Photo by Theresa Raffetto.
Moroccan-Style Vegetable Stew
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large onions chopped
- 2 medium-large potatoes scrubbed and cut into ¾-inch chunks
- 2 heaping cups raw sugar pumpkin or butternut squash peeled and cut into ¾-inch chunks
- 2 large carrots peeled and coarsely chopped
- 14- ounce can diced tomatoes undrained
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin or to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- Dried hot red pepper flakes to taste
- 15- to 16- ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup raw couscous preferably whole grain (see Note)
- Minced fresh parsley for garnish
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over moderate heat until golden.
- Add the potatoes, pumpkin or squash, carrots, tomatoes, and just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, then add the seasonings and simmer gently, covered, for approximately 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add the chickpeas, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes longer.
- Meanwhile, place the couscous in an ovenproof bowl. Cover with 2 cups boiling water, then cover the bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
- To serve, place a small amount of the couscous in each soup bowl, then ladle the stew over it. Garnish each serving with parsley, if desired.
Variation: Substitute one large sweet potato for the white potatoes.
To make the squash or pumpkin easier to cut and peel, wrap the whole thing in foil. Partially pre-bake it at 375 degrees F. for 40 minutes or so, or until you can pierce through the part without seeds, with some resistance. Then, cool until it can be handled. Or, if you're really in a hurry, buy pre-cut butternut squash from your supermarket's produce section.
For a gluten-free variation, substitute quinoa for the couscous. Cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups simmering water or broth for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.