Spicy Vegetable Couscous Recipe

Spicy Vegetable Couscous Recipes

Ingredients :

1/3 pound dried chick-peas or white beans, washed, picked over, soaked overnight or for several hours, and drained

1 large or 2 small onions, sliced

3-4 garlic cloves, minced or put through a press

2 leeks, white part only, carefully cleaned and sliced

1 bay leaf

6 cups water

1 pound tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 fresh jalapeno or other hot green pepper, seeded and sliced

1/2 tsp saffron threads

3/4 pound carrots, thickly sliced

3/4 pound turnips, peeled and cut into wedges


freshly ground black pepper

3/4 pound zucchini, thickly sliced


2 heaping cups couscous

1/2 cup water

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)

whole sprigs of cilantro and harissa sauce, for garnish

Method :

Combine the beans, onion, half the garlic, leeks, bay leaf, and water in a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot or a couscoussier. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, simmer 1 hour. Add the tomatoes, jalapeno, saffron, remaining garlic, carrots, turnips, salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer another hour. Add the zucchini and cayenne to taste. Simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Adjust the seasonings.

Place the couscous in a large bowl or a casserole. Combine 2 cups broth from the vegetable mixture and 1/2 cup water. Gradually sprinkle this onto the couscous. Add more water if necessary to cover the couscous. Let the couscous sit for 20 minutes; stir with a wooden spoon or your hands every 5 minutes or more to prevent lumping. The couscous should swell and soften. Add salt to taste. Heat the cooked couscous through for 15-20 minutes in the top part of your couscoussier, or in a strainer or steamer that fits tightly over your soup pot, or in a covered baking dish in a medium oven, or in a microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Just before serving, bring the vegetable mixture back to a simmer and stir in the chopped cilantro and optional lemon juice. To serve, spoon the couscous into warmed wide flat soup bowls and ladle on a generous helping of soup. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro and pass the harissa, with a small bowl of broth so that people can dissolve the harissa in a spoonful before adding it to the couscous.

Serves 4

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