This fast and easy Moroccan Chickpea and Lemon Couscous Soup recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight meal. The lemon adds a nice brightness to the soup and it’s made with some of my favorite spices, including paprika and healthy anti-inflammatory turmeric.
Lick Your Plate: A Lip Smackin’ Book for Every Home Cook was written by two sisters, Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat. Their mission was to create a cookbook that would serve as a kitchen sidekick. I first learned about the book from their mother, who I’m working with on the Einstein Legacy Project. More on that project in a future post… it’s a truly exciting venture that I’m thrilled to be a part of.
I started exploring Julie and Lisa’s cooking website, Bite Me More (gotta love the cheeky title!), and was so impressed by their sense of humor and their laid back approach to cooking. Julie and Lisa are ladies that would be welcome in any kitchen; they do a terrific job of presenting simple recipes in an easy, understandable way.
The pages of Lick Your Plate are filled with recipes for everyone, no matter your level of cooking expertise. The ingredients can likely be found in your refrigerator and pantry at any given time and no special equipment is required.
I also love that their recipes delve into all types of world cuisine. In one book we’re introduced to a colorful variety of “lip smackin’” dishes, from Easy Teriyaki Cocktail Meatballs to Fresh Tomato & Whipped Feta Polenta Crisps (yum!) to Baja Fish Taco Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing. There is no lack of variety here!
What I also love about this book is how quickly the meals come together. Between Julie and Lisa there are 6 teenage kids, so they are no strangers to the advantage of recipes that don’t take much time. Their previous cookbooks, Bite Me and Bite Me Too, have a similar mission statement.
A feature in Lick Your Plate that I really loved is a series of six symbols used throughout the book that indicate helpful tips like how to use leftovers, if a recipe can be made in under 30 minutes, and even some fun food-related trivia.
While perusing the pages of Lick Your Plate, I came across this recipe for Moroccan Chickpea and Lemon Couscous Soup. It sounded delicious and, like most nights, I was in a bit of a time crunch. The soup only required two pots and an immersion blender, and according to the recipe it only took about 30 minutes to make. Sure enough, the soup was finished and on the table in just over half an hour. It also tastes great!
As written in the book, the soup itself does not contain any salt. I added a teaspoon at the end, but feel free to leave it out if you’re watching your sodium intake. This recipe can easily be made vegan and dairy free with a simple substitution, noted below. Enjoy!
Note for my kosher readers: this cookbook is not kosher, but many of the recipes are easily adaptable for a kosher lifestyle.
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Moroccan Chickpea and Lemon Couscous Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 whole onion, chopped
- 2 whole large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 whole carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas (if canned, drain and rinse)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes (1 can)
- 1 tbsp butter, or use non-dairy butter substitute or olive oil to make vegan/pareve
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
Lemon Couscous Ingredients
- 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup dry uncooked couscous (for vegan, choose a vegan couscous)
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- Fresh mint, thinly sliced, for garnish
In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, 4 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, salt, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, turmeric and cayenne pepper, cooking for 1-2 minutes.
Add white wine and reduce until almost completely evaporated.
Add carrots and chickpeas, stirring to combine with spices.
Add vegetable broth and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
While the soup simmers, prepare the couscous. In a small saucepan, bring water, lemon juice and salt to a boil over medium high heat. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in couscous and lemon zest. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover the couscous and fluff using a fork.
Once soup finishes simmering, remove from heat. Using a hand held immersion blender, lightly puree soup, leaving it slightly chunky. Stir in butter, lemon juice and lemon zest. Top each bowl of soup with a mound of lemon couscous and sprinkle with fresh mint.