Easy dinner

Easy dinner: North African Couscous Soup

I wasn’t very inspired when I got home today and the pantry was a bit on the bare side but I also didn’t want to go shopping. So I started browsing my new favourite cookbook and came across this recipe for North African Couscous Soup. The main ingredients? Celery (or fennel, carrots, zucchini), 1 cup couscous, and a bit of tomato paste. Check, check, check. Seemed too simple to pass. In less than half an hour I had a super tasty meal with enough leftovers for at least another couple of meals. I didn’t take a picture but here’s the recipe:

North African Couscous Soup

3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, small, minced
½ cup celery or fennel, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Za’atar (or 2 tsp ground cumin)
1 cup couscous, preferably whole wheat
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 liters vegetable stock or water
salt & freshly ground pepper

Directions

1. Put the olive oil in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the za-atar and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Stir constantly to keep the spices from burning and cook until just fragrant, about a minute. Add the couscous and continue stirring and cooking until the couscous begins to toast and darken, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste until it is evenly distributed and begins to colour, another minute or two; then add the stock and stir to dissolve the tomato paste.

2. Bring the soup to a boil, then turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook without disturbing until the couscous is plump and tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and serve.

Print version here