Red Pepper Carrot Soup with Couscous

This beautiful, bold red pepper carrot soup gets a ton of flavor from a tablespoon of harissa, and is extra satisfying on a chilly fall evening with the inspired addition of a couscous swirl. I made it on a weeknight in under an hour.

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This red pepper carrot soup gets a ton of flavor from harissa, and is extra satisfying on a chilly fall evening with the amazing addition of a couscous swirl.

How do you feel about soup for dinner? Some people don’t consider soup to be a full meal in itself. I beg to differ! With some bread, tortilla chips, crackers, or other carbs on the side for dunking, soup is a comforting, satisfying, soul-nourishing, not to mention healthy, supper.

This red pepper carrot soup gets a ton of flavor from harissa, and is extra satisfying on a chilly fall evening with the amazing addition of a couscous swirl.

Still not convinced? What if we put the starch IN the soup. Then it’s basically a bowl of pasta – albeit a very saucy one. That is basically what Deb of Smitten Kitchen did with this red pepper carrot soup with a couscous swirl. I think it’s kind of genius, but then I’m an easy sell when it comes to soup, if you couldn’t tell! As a bonus, leftovers make easy work lunches. I usually put a soup on the menu at least once a week for just that purpose.

What is harissa?

This soup gets a ton of complex flavor from the addition of harissa – a North African chile and spice paste. It’s generally sold prepared in a tube. If you can’t find it in the grocery store, you can get it easily here. It’s a spicy condiment, but with only a tablespoon in the recipe, the overall effect is pretty mellow. Feel free to add more to taste!

This red pepper carrot soup gets a ton of flavor from harissa, and is extra satisfying on a chilly fall evening with the amazing addition of a couscous swirl.

This recipe is from the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook, which I’ve had for all of a week and has already monopolized my menu for the foreseeable future. I loved the first book, but this one is packed with easy weeknight inspiration, and is right up my alley. I highly recommend it. If you don’t already follow Deb on her blog, I recommend that too.

This beautiful, bold soup gets a ton of flavor from harissa, and is extra satisfying on a chilly fall evening with the amazing addition of a couscous swirl.
This beautiful, bold soup gets a ton of flavor from harissa, and is extra satisfying on a chilly fall evening with the amazing addition of a couscous swirl.
4.72 from 7 votes
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Red Pepper Carrot Soup with Couscous

This beautiful, bold soup gets a ton of flavor from harissa, and is extra satisfying on a chilly fall evening with the amazing addition of a couscous swirl.
Course Lunch, Main Dish
Cuisine North African
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 170 kcal
Author Ann

Ingredients

Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 large red bell peppers, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 4-5 large carrots (about 1 lb), thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon prepared harissa
  • handful of chopped parsley

Couscous

  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dried fine couscous

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 4-5 minutes. Add bell peppers and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Pour in the stock and add the cumin, paprika and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20-25 minutes until vegetables are very tender.
  4. While the vegetables are simmering, prepare the couscous. In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, add couscous, cover and set aside until the soup is ready (at least 5-10 minutes).
  5. When the vegetables are tender, purée the soup in the pot with an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender. Stir in the harissa and add salt to taste.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls. Fluff couscous with a fork and swirl into the soup.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman

Nutrition Facts
Red Pepper Carrot Soup with Couscous
Amount Per Serving
Calories 170 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Sodium 958mg42%
Potassium 564mg16%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 10620IU212%
Vitamin C 166.3mg202%
Calcium 43mg4%
Iron 1.4mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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