Moroccan-Style Vegetable Stew

This delicious stew looks and smells as enticing as it tastes. My sister-in-law, Toni Atlas, provided the inspiration for this recipe.

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2  large onions, chopped
2  medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
2 cups (heaping) sugar pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch chunks
2  large carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 can (16-ounce) salt-free diced tomatoes, undrained
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 can (16-ounce) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
 {salt and pepper} to taste
2 cups water
1 cup raw couscous, preferably whole grain
1/4 to 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley, to taste
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until golden.

Add the potatoes, pumpkin or squash, carrots, tomatoes, cumin, and turmeric. Add enough water to cover all but about 1/2 inch of the vegetables. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Stir in the chickpeas, then season with salt and pepper. Simmer over very low heat for 10 to 15 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from the heat. Let stand for 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

To serve the stew, place a small amount of the couscous in each soup bowl, then ladle some stew over it and sprinkle with parsley. Serve at once.

Ease of Preparation: Easy

Preparation Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 1 hr

Servings: 6

Recipe By: Nava Atlas

From:  Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons
Used with permission of Amberwood Press

Chef Suggestions
Partially baking or briefly microwaving sugar pumpkin or squash makes it much easier to peel and dice. For this recipe, a very small pumpkin or squash is all that's needed, and microwaving for about 4 to 5 minutes would do the trick. Make sure the pumpkin or squash has cooled before handling.
Nutrition Facts
As prepared, each serving contains 300 calories, 5g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 130mg sodium, 55g total carbohydrate and 10g protein.