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Vegetarian Polka Dot Stew

 Vegetarian Polka Dot Stew
“Here’s a speedy and satisfying version of traditional minestrone soup. The fun polka-dot shapes of the couscous, baby carrots and black beans give this stew its name.” -Teagan O'Toole, Boston, Massachusetts
5 ServingsPrep/Total Time: 30 min.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 plum tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) ready-to-serve tomato soup
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in the couscous,
  • carrots, tomato, onion and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat;
  • simmer, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until tender and water is
  • absorbed. Stir in the remaining ingredients; heat through. Sprinkle
  • with cheese. Yield: 5 servings.
Editor’s Note: You may substitute 1 cup quick-cooking barley for the couscous if desired.

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Vegetarian Polka Dot Stew (continued)

Nutritional Facts: 1-1/2 cups (calculated without cheese) equals 309 calories, 2 g fat (trace saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 879 mg sodium, 60 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 14 g protein.