A nod to the rich flavors of North African tagines, hearty vegetables laced with warm spices get cooked into a thick, fragrant stew. Ready in minutes, buttery couscous with toasted almonds add a layer of comfort and satisfaction.
For the stew: Put the garlic, turnips, onion, carrot, fennel, raisins, ginger, salt, cumin, paprika, sugar, turmeric, cloves, and cinnamon in a large soup pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat; cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the vegetables are somewhat soft, about 10 minutes. Halve and seed the butternut squash and cut it into wedges. Tie parsley sprigs together with kitchen string. Add squash, zucchini, chickpeas, and parsley sprigs to the pot. Using your fingers and working over the pot, tear the tomatoes into big pieces and add them to the pot with their juices. Simmer the stew, covered, until it is slightly thick and fragrant, and the vegetables are fork tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. (You can test the vegetables a bit sooner, remove them as soon as they are tender, and return them to the pot when you are ready to serve. All the vegetables should be tender enough to cut with the side of a fork, but still hold their shapes.) Remove cinnamon sticks.
For the couscous: Bring water to a boil with the butter and salt in a small saucepan. Stir in the couscous, pull the saucepan off the heat, cover, and set aside until the water has been absorbed and the couscous is plump, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and fluff with a fork.
To serve, spread the couscous over a large serving platter and, using a slotted spoon, mound the vegetables in the center. Pour some of the broth over the vegetables and sprinkle with the almonds. Pass the remaining broth and the harissa, if desired, at the table.
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