Moroccan Chickpea Soup with Couscous

13 Dec

moroccan-chickpea-soup-from-a-cedar-spoonIt had been snowing all day, and the snow seemed almost a foot high  when the hostess of our annual book club potluck dinner called it off. I had just put together a spinach and cabbage salad to bring. What was I going to do with all that? So I put out a call to the other book club members inviting over anyone willing to brave the roads. My friend Char, who was wondering what to do with the huge kugel she had just baked, answered the call.

Char also brought his delicious soup, which came from a blog called A Cedar Spoon (which is where I got the picture too — much nicer than the one I took!). The couscous makes it thick so it’s almost like a stew. It’s perfectly spiced and just the right thing for a snowy winter day. We loved it, and I hope you do too!

Ingredients:

½ cup couscous
3 Tbs. olive oil
½ sweet onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
tsp. paprika
½  tsp. red pepper {cayenne pepper}
¼  tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. turmeric
1 28 oz. can plum tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth {you could use chicken broth}
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup milk, half & half  or unsweetened soymilk
Chopped fresh cilantro, crushed red pepper flakes, extra chickpeas and/or lemon wedges for garnish

Directions:

Cook the couscous according to the package directions.

While the couscous cooks heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots and celery and a dash of salt and continue to sauté until the vegetables become soft. Add the spices and continue to sauté for 2 more minutes.

Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth and chickpeas and simmer on low for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the milk or soymilk and stir well. Simmer for 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Put half the soup into a large mixing bowl and puree using an immersion blender or a blender. Return the pureed soup back into the soup pot and mix well.

Divide the couscous into soup bowls and ladle the soup on top. Garnish with {fresh cilantro, crushed red pepper, lemon wedges and/or extra chickpeas.

Serves 8 to 10

 

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