Vegetarian couscous

Today I had one of my favourite dishes, maybe also because I don't eat it as much as other dishes but when I prepare it I always enjoy it. Therefore I want to share it.

Ingredients

Split green peas (about 50 g)
Black eye beans (about 50 g)
Potato (one)
Mushrooms
Courgette (half or quarter)
Red pepper (quarter)
Garlic
Herbs
Vegetable bouillon
Oil (with herbs)
Couscous

Note: The above mentioned weights are estimates because I didn't weight the food but it shows some but not huge amounts are used per person. And I prefer to use small courgettes so I don't need to throw away the middle with its seeds.

Preparation

First put the dry split green peas and black eye beans in a pot with water. Add half (or all, according to taste) of the vegetable bouillon cube and some dry herbs such as basil and pepper. Start boiling.

Then wash the potato, mushrooms, red pepper and courgette and cut them in small cubes (I eat the skin of the potato although remove the 'eyes'). Halfway the cooking of the peas and beans, add the potato cubes to the boiling water. Some minutes before the potatoes are ready, also add mushroom, red pepper and courgette cubes and continue boiling for another short time. The vegetables can also first be fried in some oil so they have a slightly different flavour before they are adding to the boiling water with other vegetables. Just before the end, add pieces of garlic to the soup while also some fresh herbs can be added (such as mint).

In the meanwhile, prepare the couscous. Boil some water. Add some couscous on a plate and mix it with some olive oil. I used two kinds of oil: one containing herbs and the other red hot peppers. Use a fork to mix the oil with the couscous so clumps can be broken and the couscous can be mixed easier with the oil. Finally, add some of the boiling water with the couscous until the couscous is covered and can become a little softer. Use the fork to be sure all couscous came in contact with the water. Then spread the couscous over the plate while leave a sinkhole in the middle for the vegetables and soup.

Couscous. Left, the food is ready to serve. Right, the food is ready to eat by mixing some of the couscous with the vegetables while the couscous continues to absorb the soup.

At this moment, because little water was used, the couscous absorbed all water and is still a little dry and not very soft and thus the soup is used during the meal to further moisturise the couscous. Personally, I prefer couscous with soup as shown on the picture as this allows me to add more liquid when I think the couscous is too dry.

Alternatives

Of course, everyone can use their own fantasy to further improve this dish. For instance, add some pieces of onion or further spice the soup by adding some pieces of hot pepper. Also carrots can be added. Remember, think in colours and use herbs to prepare vegetarian dishes as this will result in a mixture of different flavours. This shows that you can eat each day another couscous while having different flavours. And if you don't like wet couscous, add less of the soup and leave for a few minutes so the couscous can absorb all liquid.

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