Wednesday, March 3, 2010

North African Couscous Soup

Another Bittman adaptation, though I have seriously adjusted his levels of flavoring and used my own veggie additions, so hopefully I'm justified in reposting. Warmly spiced, deeply comforting, colorful soup for a not-quite-spring evening.

You'll need:

2 quarts veggie stock
1 cup uncooked couscous
1 small, finely chopped onion
1 baked and chopped sweet potato
2 cups finely chopped green veggies: Mine were green beans and purple kale.*
1 6 oz can tomato paste
3 TBSP za'atar**
olive oil, salt, pepper.

Just soften your onions in some olive oil in your soup pot, then add the za'atar and chopped greens and soften those a bit as well. Throw the couscous in and cook for a few minutes till it darkens, then add the tomato paste (I used a little less than the whole can). Add the stock and sweet potatoes, get 'er boiling, and season to taste - I added salt, pepper, and more sumac (on top of what was in the za'atar blend).

Boil until you get a thick, creamy-textured soup with fully softened veggie bits, deep red spiked with green. Serve with bread and perhaps some strong, sweet mint tea.

*Note: If you don't happen to have an Alaskan relative who can pick you up an ulu knife for all your fine choppin' needs, get one here posthaste.
**Za'atar is a blend of sesame seeds, sumac, and thyme. I mixed some up long ago; not sure of my proportions but it's probably advisable to decide that for yourself anyway!

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