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Zoe’s Vegetable Hot Pot with Herby Couscous

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  • Chef: Zoe
  • Type: main
  • Serves: 6
  • Time: Prep: 20 mins Cook: 60 mins

This vegetable hot pot is a good recipe to make on a cold winter’s day. You can use whatever vegetables you have at home – winter root vegetables work very well. It’s served with herby couscous to make it even more filling.

We came up with this stew based on the surplus vegetables we had during one of our sessions. You can use any vegetables. It also doesn’t matter too much about the order you cook them in. I start with gently cooking the onion first, while I chop the other vegetables, and add them to the pot as I go. It doesn’t matter what size you chop the vegetables, but try to cut the swede slightly smaller than the potatoes as it will take a bit longer to cook.

You can use any pulses, such as tinned beans or chickpeas or dried green lentils. If you’re using dried green lentils it is better to cook them separately because they take a little longer to cook than the red lentils (about 30 minutes). You can also not use the coconut milk, but I find it adds lots of flavour and gives a creamy texture!

Handy tip: One way of cutting down on the amount of salt you use is to stir through lemon or lime juice at the end.


  • 1 small swede, peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 3 small potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • Half a cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 150g of mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes or passata
  • 100 g dried red lentils
  • 200 mls coconut milk
  • Handful of any fresh herbs (such as parsley, dill, coriander), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • For the couscous
  • 200g couscous
  • 1 courgette, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful of fresh herbs, such as dill, parsley or coriander (optional)
  • Small handful of rocket, chopped (optional)


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cook on a low heat for five minutes while you prepare the other vegetables.
  2. Add the leeks, mushrooms, swede and potatoes. Cook for a further five minutes, stirring. Add the thyme, cumin and paprika and cook for a further minute.
  3. Next add the lentils and tomatoes and stir through. Fill the empty can of tomatoes with water and add this to the pan. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on a low heat for approximately 20 minutes. You may need to add a little more water once the lentils expand.
  4. While you are waiting for the stew to cook you can make the couscous. Heat the oil in a small saucepan and add the onion and courgettes. Cook on a low heat for approximately eight minutes, stirring regularly.
  5. Add the couscous and stir. Pour over 400 mls of hot water. Remove from the heat and cover. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  6. After the stew has cooked for 20 minutes, add the cauliflower florets and coconut milk and cook for five to 10 minutes, until the potatoes and swede are tender.
  7. Remove from the heat and stir through the chopped herbs.
  8. Stir through chopped herbs and lemon juice into the couscous.