That's what Walt said when I came back from North Carolina. We started gathering together all the necessary ingredients, which required a couple of trips to the supermarket.
Vegetables, especially: turnips, both purple and yellow; rutabagas; onions; garlic; carrots; celery; green beans; bell peppers; zucchini; tomatoes (and tomato paste); chickpeas.
Meats: a turkey leg; three slices of leg of lamb; merguez sausages made with beef and lamb; chicken broth. And (why not?) some chicken meatballs from Ikea.
Spices and herbs: ras el hanout, the North African spice blend; thyme; ground fennel seeds; oregano.
Making the couscous stew/soup is really easy. Brown some chopped onions and garlic in a big soup pot along with chicken (or in this case, turkey). Add to spices and let them cook for a few minutes. Add two or three fresh tomatoes (or a small can of tomatoes and their juice) plus about half a cup of tomato paste. Let everything cook together for 10 to 15 minutes.
Peel and cut up the root vegetables and the celery. Add them to the pot and then pour on enough chicken broth and water to just cover all the ingredients. Continue simmering for 30 to 40 minutes. When the turnips and carrots are tender, add green beans, zucchini, and bell peppers (either fresh or frozen) to the pot. Voilà.
Season the broth generously with salt and pepper. As it finishes cooking, brown the lamb and then the merguez sausages, separately, in a frying pan. Transfer the meats to the oven to keep them warm. Spoon some of the couscous broth over a cup of so of cooked chickpeas (a can is fine) and heat them up in a saucepan or in the microwave.
Prepare couscous "grain" according to package directions. On your plate, top a mound of "grain" with vegetables and broth. Serve the meats, including some of the simmered turkey or chicken, alongside, and add some chickpeas as a garnish. Mix some hot harissa spice paste into a cupful of broth and dribble some of it over your plate at the table. Prepare to enjoy eating couscous for two or three days.