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Vegetarian Polka Dot Stew

Total Time

Prep/Total Time: 30 min.


5 servings

“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


  • 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


  1. 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.
<b>Editor’s Note:</b> You may substitute 1 cup quick-cooking barley for the couscous if desired.

Nutrition Facts

1-1/2 cups: 309 calories, 2g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 879mg sodium, 60g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 10g fiber), 14g protein.

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