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Turkey & Fall Vegetables in a Saffron-Scented Broth with Couscous


Serves four.

Moroccan spices warm up leftover turkey in this vegetable braise. Couscous is traditionally served with harissa, a chile sauce. Instead, I use the Indonesian chile paste sambal oelek, which is a good substitute and available in Asian markets, or you can substitute a few shakes of a hot sauce such as Tabasco. This recipe is easily doubled.

  • Generous pinch saffron threads
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 3-inch long cinnamon stick
  • 1 fresh hot red chile (like a serrano), cored, seeded, and quartered
  • 3 cups Turkey Stock
  • 1 medium red onion, root end left intact, cut into wedges about 3/4 inch thick at the widest side
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 x3/4-inch sticks
  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-1/2 x3/4-inch sticks
  • 1 cup peeled, diced butternut squash (1-inch dice)
  • 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1-1/2x3/4-inch sticks
  • 8 oz. plum tomatoes (about 2 large), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice
  • 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 cups diced cooked turkey (1/2-inch dice)
  • 1/4 cup golden seedless raisins
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. (1-1/4 cups) couscous
  • Sambal oelek (Indonesian chile paste) or hot sauce
Keep the vegetables chunky and about the same size so they’ll be done at the same time.

In a dry, small Dutch oven over medium heat, toast the saffron for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in the turmeric, cinnamon stick, chile, and stock; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, parsnips, and squash; continue simmering, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and tomatoes, cover, and simmer until all the vegetables are just tender, about another 5 minutes (you may need to raise the heat to return the broth to a simmer). When the vegetables are tender, stir in the chickpeas, 1/2 tsp. salt, the turkey, raisins, and cilantro. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit covered until the last ingredients you added have been heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasonings if needed.

Meanwhile, make the couscous. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 1-3/4 cups water to a boil, along with 1 tsp. salt and 1 Tbs. of the butter. Stir in the couscous, cover tightly, remove from the heat, and let sit for 5 minutes. Cut the remaining 1 Tbs. butter into small pieces and scatter them over the couscous. Cover and let sit for 3 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

To serve, mound a large spoonful of the couscous into a shallow soup bowl and ladle the turkey, vegetables and broth over it. Serve with the sambal oelek on the side.  

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 630, Fat (kcal): 11, Fat Calories (g): 100, Saturated Fat (g): 5, Protein (g): 33, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3, Carbohydrates (mg): 102, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 2, Sodium (g): 980, Cholesterol (g): 55, Fiber (g): 15,

Photo: Scott Phillips

A comforting soup with exotic flavors. Perfect for a cold afternoon!

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