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Seven-Vegetable Couscous

Seven-Vegetable Couscous Related:   Africa, kid-friendly, pareve, rice & grains, Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat, Sukkot, vegan, vegetables & legumes, vegetarian

Prep time: 15–20 minutes

Cook time: 20–25 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

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Seven is a lucky number in Jewish tradition, so a soup or stew featuring seven vegetables is a Rosh Hashanah favorite among Sephardic Jews. With Moroccan origins, this bountiful, colorful tribute to the harvest is perfect for the holiday table, but you can enjoy it any time. What has been Americanized is preparing the couscous with the easy soaking method rather than in a couscousier; what has been veganized is making it all plant-based instead of adding the customary meat. Feel free to vary the vegetables called for in this recipe. And don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients—this is as easy as can be to make.

Ingredients

  • Couscous
  • 1½ cups couscous, preferably whole grain
  • 1 tablespoon vegan buttery spread
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Vegetables
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 cup finely shredded white cabbage
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1½ cups diced ripe tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Dried hot red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Garnishes
  • ½ cup golden raisins or finely chopped dried apricots
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
  • ½ cup sliced or slivered toasted almonds

Preparation

  • Combine the couscous and 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 medium 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 cover 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 just tender, but still firm.
  • To serve, arrange the couscous on the outer edge of a large serving platter and make a well in the center. Pour the 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.
  • Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas © 2011, 2017. Photo by Susan Voisin. Published by Sterling Publishing; reprinted by permission.

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