1 lb okra
½ cup red wine vinegar or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 to 4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon cayenne
1 lb. tomatoes, grated or peeled, seeded and chopped
2 cups chickpeas, soaked for 6 hours or overnight and drained
8 springs of parsley, tied in a bouquet
8 springs of cilantro, tied in a bouquet
1 large sweet red pepper, seeded and cut into large dices
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon harissa (more to taste) plus additional for serving
½ cup chopped fresh parsley, or mixture of parsley and cilantro or mint
2 to 2 2/3 cups couscous
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion. Cook stirring until it is tender (about 5 minutes) and stir in the garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and the spices. Stir together for about 1 minute and then add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly (5 to 10 minutes). Add the chickpeas, 2 quarts water, and the herb bouquets. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 1 ½ hours.
2. Meanwhile, trim the stems off the okra and place in a large bowl. Salt generously, douse with the vinegar and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Drain the okra and rinse thoroughly. Set aside.
3. After 1 ½ hours, season the chickpeas with salt to taste and add the harissa, tomato paste, red pepper, and okra. Bring back to a simmer and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, or until okra and beans are tender. Remove a cup of broth to use for flavoring the couscous. Stir in the chopped fresh herbs and simmer another few minutes. Taste and adjust salt. The stew should be spicy and flavorful.
4. Cook the couscous and serve with stew ladelled on top.