Moroccan Vegetable Stew with Couscous

The best part of being away is coming back. I was received with love letters and benevolent kisses from my little ones. Those are the sweetest. As much as I felt anxious leaving my family behind (even for 2 days), I loved every minute of being in New York. I tried to condense, ambitiously, so many things in those precious hours that I felt rushed even when I wasn't. Eventually I realized that this trip wasn't so much about what I did but with who I was. I met so many of the people I've know (virtually, that is) for years and new friends, too. We got to talk, eat together, laugh together, experience the same place without a screen connecting us and separating us at the same time. That was priceless. I left with a sappy, full heart and maybe a greater desire to visit again. It was just too short. 

Now that I'm settled back into home life and the weather has cooled drastically, I'm turning to warm, comforting foods. This Moroccan Vegetable Stew with Couscous has been on repeat not only because I find it screams cozy and urges me to swirl a thick, wooly scarf around my neck while holding onto a bowl with both hands. But also because I have yet seen my kids so eager for a second (and third) bowl of dinner. I serve it meatless, but a rotisserie bird would pair well on the side. You can even go ahead and sear some meat before adding the vegetables to include it in the steps. Anything for simplicity. I don't need to sell you on this one. Try it once and watch it creep up in your rotation this winter. Have a healthy one.

Moroccan Vegetable Stew with Couscous


2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

2-3 zucchinis, cut into rounds and quartered

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 15oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 ½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

½ bunch cilantro, chopped

Mint leaves, for garnish

1 350g bag couscous

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil


In a 5 litre soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium high. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and saute in oil for 1-2 minutes. Add the zucchini, squash, and chickpeas and stir to coat in oil. Pour 6-7 cups boiling water, enough to cover the mixture and bring to a boil. Season with ground coriander, turmeric, cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Cover and reduce to a simmer. The stew is ready when the squash is very tender, another 10-15 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.

Place the couscous in a large bowl, season with salt and oil. Pour enough boiling water to cover the couscous by ½ inch. Cover and wait 10-15 minutes until the grain has absorbed all the water. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

In a bowl, spoon a layer of couscous and top with stew, garnish with mint leaves. Serve warm.