Ten Minute Couscous Soup

Ten Minute Couscous Soup Recipe


For those of you who think you don't have time to make soup from scratch, this one's for you. It is a quick-cooking couscous soup that I like to throw together when I'm feeling particularly lazy. It goes something like this - bring a pot of flavorful broth to a boil. While the broth is heating, chop a few quick cooking vegetables and measure out a cup of couscous. Once your pot of broth is bubbling away, stir in the couscous, stir in the vegetables, wait just a couple minutes and enjoy with a few garnishes or condiments. All told, it takes me less than ten minutes, and by the time I've got a pot of broth simmering, the rest of the ingredients are prepped. You end up with a pot of beautiful, brothy couscous topped with a bit of melty goat cheese and bright broccoli and cauliflower florets. It is all punctuated with a spoonful of finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes.

I was thinking, this could be a good, nutritious office lunch as well - you could do it on a smaller scale. Heat some broth in the microwave, then pour it over a bit of couscous and vegetables, cover for a few minutes, etc. Like a do-it-yourself cup-of-not-noodle soup. If I were going to make a one-pot meal out of this, I'd likely add some sort of protein component maybe a poached egg, or something. A curried version might be nice - just stir a touch of curry paste into the broth at the beginning. Or even better, a harissa version, with some chopped greens?

 
 
 
 

Ten Minute Couscous Soup Recipe

This is a soup that should be made to order, if it sits around the consistency changes and the vegetables get that over-cooked flavor no one likes. I like to use whole wheat couscous, which I've been seeing around more often lately. I also picked up a box of barley couscous the other day - delicious. If all you can find is regular couscous, no problem, that will work as well too. I just try to pick up "whole" versions when given the choice. Use a delicious broth, one you wouldn't mind enjoying a bowl of on its own - I've mentioned before that I like Rapunzel Herb Bouillon with Salt (available at many stores). This soup can easily be made vegan by leaving out the cheese.

7 cups great-tasting vegetable broth
2 or 3 pinches crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup whole wheat, barley, or regular couscous
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets, cut into tiny pieces smaller than your thumb
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into tiny pieces smaller than your thumb
4 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (opt)
4 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
an ounce or two of goat cheese

In a large pot heat the broth, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. When it comes to a boil remove the pot from the heat and stir in the couscous. Wait two minutes and stir in the broccoli and cauliflower. Wait another two minutes - just long enough for the vegetables to loose their raw edge, and ladle into bowls. Top each bowl with some sun-dried tomatoes, green onions, and a bit of goat cheese.

Serves 4-6.

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Your Comments


Erik
October 26, 2008

That's the beauty of couscous, that it cooks so quickly. As long as you already have a good stock on hand, there is no limit to the number of great soups you can make with it.

 

Fit Bottomed Girls
October 26, 2008

I just bought some couscous -- can't wait to try! I love easy and fresh recipes. :)

 

mcC
October 26, 2008

that looks yummy! I truly love couscous, in all forms. My only problem with the quickness of this recipe would be that I don't like my broccoli and cauliflower raw. So I'd probably steam them before throwing together the soup. after perusing your irish beef stew recipe today I'm really gonna have to try this soup next week :)

 

Marianne
October 26, 2008

That is such a good idea - I love homemade soup, but often don't have the time to make it! I think there is some couscous hanging out in my cupboard calling my name!

 

Sophie
October 26, 2008

So simple - love the possibilities of this for using up odds and ends of veg

I use that same brand of barley couscous. It's a bit firmer than regular cous cous so much easier to cook without ending up with a soggy mess!

 

Jameela
October 26, 2008

Looks very delicious couscous.
I will make it for this weekend with my family.
Thanks for your sharing.

 

Nick
October 26, 2008

Excellent idea, I've got a huge container of whole wheat couscous lying around that I couldn't find a use for. What do you think about using a boxed butternut squash soup as the base? I think it would add some great flavor...

 

Jack
October 26, 2008

Just tried this but added some Trader Joes chicken sausage that I pan fried for color with just a touch of oil. Fantastic one pot meal. Great recipe.

 

Sol
October 26, 2008

This would be wonderful camping food!

 

Amanda Boyce
October 26, 2008

I love how simple this dish is, but it's not boring. Nothing is worse than a boring dish :) If I used barley, should I boil the grain longer? It takes a little whole longer for barley to cook, unlike couscous which cooks in minutes.

 

Molly Irwin
October 26, 2008

So very tempting, this is. Perfect for an easy weeknight, and steamed cauliflower is one of my faves. Thank you, Heidi, cannot wait to try this.

 

love this recipe! I'm a huge fan of couscous but I've never had it in a soup and this one looks fantastically easy - thanks!

 

Teddy
October 26, 2008

It's definitely "soup" time of year as well... thanks for the quick recipe!

Teddy

 

I agree with Sol, what a great idea for food to take camping! And while it's not soup time of year here in Australia, with summer fast approaching, it is time to be eating healthily... :) What a lovely idea for quick to make, light flavoursome fare.

 

tortasinqueso
October 26, 2008

Think this would taste good substituting bulgar for the couscous? I know the cooking method would be a bit different. Maybe just precook the bulgar and add it in after the veggies were in for a few mins.

I tried couscous not too long ago and was unimpressed, but I'm not really a pasta person. I am wondering if maybe I'd like the whole wheat or barley type better...

 

Sina Evans
October 26, 2008

Woohoo, Monday's dinner problem is solved! As usual, Heidi, this looks superb, grazi!

 

kyle @ Yum-oh
October 26, 2008

For those who live in a wheat-free world, Quinoa would work soooo well with this delicious recipe! Thanks for the inspiration, Heidi.

 

sibelika
October 26, 2008

I will add some more chili and parmesan cheese.I am sure ıt will taste great! Thanks Heidi:)

 

brian moss
October 27, 2008

while you Americans are commenting on couscous as designer food - and at the same time individually paying off the corruption of the banking system - it would be time to reflect on the starvation of the third world.

Couscous is a survival food - a way of preserving the harvest,

I can hardly believe of the logic or philosophy behind 101 Cookbooks - even 'tho I cook a great deal.

You Americans are just spoiled and cute and I do not believe in you.

BRIAN MOSS.

 

Luz Fox
October 27, 2008

Thank you very much, I bought a packet and I was trying to find the recipe, this just come on time for me to try.

Kind regards,

Lucy

 

Elina
October 27, 2008

Dear Brian Moss,

Your argument is bizarre and unclear. You point seems to be that people in the West shouldn't eat couscous because in some countries it is eaten in order to stay alive. Well, that's true of rice, for one, or food in general. Does that mean that we shouldn't eat anything at all? As for 'designer food' - what exactly is that, and could you please point out where in this post it is being mentioned? I assume that by this term you were trying to refer to all things gastronomy. But perhaps the point of your argument is that people shouldn't try to cook tasty, appealing food at all? It's hard to tell with your poor and illogical argumenting, Brian. And by the way, even as a non-American, I am offended by your blatant stereotyping; do try to refrain from that the next time and concentrate instead on constructing your little soap box moment a bit better, and maybe people will be more inclined to listen.


Dear Heidi,

Thank you for the marvelous idea. I'd never thought of using couscous this way. This certainly solves the problem of what I'm having for lunch today.

 

michael bash
October 27, 2008

Couscous is great, but even grester is that I just learned that if I "Google" myself and search among over 1,000,000 entries for Michael R. Bash and Michael "L" (another guy) and Michael whoever Bash, I can find every comment I ever made on any blog or as a review of a book on Amazon. Amazing! and watch what you say.

 

VeggieGirl
October 27, 2008

I've never had couscous in soup before - looks interesting!

 

Kristin
October 27, 2008

Elina-
Thank you for that. Very well put. I don't know if I was more irritated that he was making such a ridiculous, irrational argument or that he chose to do it on Heidi's beautiful blog where it certainly doesn't belong. Mr. Moss, we are talking about food here, not corrupt banking systems or American stereotypes. You may not believe in me, but quite frankly I don't believe in perpetuating negativity, so please do us a favor and take yours elsewhere.

 

love the idea of using quinoa. and choosing to ignore mr. moss!

 

dewey_decimal
October 27, 2008

I make a similar quick couscous soup, but with a more Mexican flair. Use some leftover flavorful broth, add leftover tomato sauce (I use the Hunt's with no salt added) or crushed tomatoes, throw in some chopped zucchini, and dump in couscous, a dash of lime juice (fresh is best, but the concentrated stuff works fine too), and your favourite hot sauce (my fave is Melinda's XXX). It's a good running-out-the-door meal.

 

Heidi
October 27, 2008

Hmm. I'd normally just delete a nasty comment like that. I mean, I'm all for articulate criticism, but that comment is just bizarre. Serves me right for sleeping in (and not requiring approval for each comment before going live)....

If it continues to lead all the comments off topic, I'll think about pulling it later, or simply shut down the comments for this post. I think the best thing to do with antagonistic comments is to ignore them.

Happy Monday ;) I'm off to fix myself a bowl of designer oatmeal. -h

 

Mrs Redboots
October 27, 2008

I hadn't thought of doing that using couscous - I tend to use instant noodles! Like another poster, I don't care for raw broccoli/cauliflower and they definitely disagree with me, so I'd have to cook them a little in the broth first.

I have some lovely soup right now which today I thickened with noodles - maybe tomorrow with couscous?

 

Maeve
October 27, 2008

When I first saw the title of the dish, I was slightly dismayed, as I have recently had to give up wheat (among other things). But lucky me, here I discovered -two- wheat-free couscous options, one I'd never heard of! I'll have to do some hunting for that barley couscous, but quinoa is easily come by. I'm guessing the quinoa will need to be precooked (if I recollect rightly, it takes 10-20 minutes to cook up) before being added to the soup-ness.

 

pnutz
October 27, 2008

Yummy! I have a package of Israeli couscous in the pantry from Trader Joe's. It's a mixture with tri-colored orzo, split peas and baby garbanzo's and it's great. I will try it this way.

 

Kay
October 27, 2008

Heidi must have ESP for I have a box of couscous also in my pantry and its a bit chilly today in MN. I know what I am having for lunch! Thank you

 

A simple tasty recipe for a busy week. I'm going to try using Quinoa this way too.

 

Aaron Kagan
October 27, 2008

One of my traveling companions used to do something like your office version, but he went one step easier. He'd pour hot water from a gas station coffee machine into a travel mug containing dry couscous and a bouillon cube.

It wasn't fine dining, but it was better than anything he could have actually bought at the gas station.

www.teaandfood.blogspot.com

 

Wow. Mr. Moss is angry. Have a cookie, pal. I think the soup looks fabulous. Wondering about using Israeli cous-cous too? What do you think?

 

Nancy_Dancehall
October 27, 2008

Oh, that's going to be perfect for tonight after my pumpkin-carving and cookie-making party! Thanks, Heidi!

 

anonymous
October 27, 2008

Wow! Looks yummy. A very cool idea for a fast and delicious soup!

 

Bookworm
October 27, 2008

Brian Moss:

Okay, I am a spoiled American. I live a lot better than most of the people in the world. I do try (in my inadequate way) to have a minimal impact on the planet. I grow some of my own vegetables and fruit and share them with the neighbors. I appreciate this website because it has a lot of good suggestions for vegan meals. I am curious what you think we Americans should do to be less *spoiled.* And you must also be somewhat spoiled, since you do have a computer and you do have time to visit this website and write messages.

So, what do you suggest? - What do I need to do to be less spoiled, and why does visiting a website with vegan recipes earn your scorn?

 

Anonymous
October 27, 2008

Thanks, Mr. Moss. I have to agree. We ARE cute. We're also kind and generous and compassionate, giving billions of dollars extracted through our taxes to hundreds of nations around the globe, and millions and millions more in the form of direct donations and contributions. We may be well fed and fat, but we are a good and decent people who have done far more to help those less fortunate in the world than ANY other nation on earth. You have a nice day, now, you hear?

 

Pirouette
October 27, 2008

When you said 10 minutes, I was sold. Sometimes making homemade soup can be a pain, but thanks for this recipe!

 

Hilary
October 27, 2008

I've only had couscous once or twice and it's good. I'm constantly looking for new and inventive ideas. Hence the reason I've been scouring your blog now for several months.

I love the ideas and am wondering one thing, how does one know a "sugar" pumpkin from a "jack o lantern" pumpkin? I wanted to try your roasted pumpkin salad but got a bit overwhelmed at the local store.

This time if year there's just lots of pumpkins.

Thanks.

 

Deborah Dowd
October 27, 2008

This sounds really awesome and I love recipes that are more like guidelines- it really lets you experiment to find something that will be a hit with your own family!

 

LJ
October 27, 2008

Wow, so fast and so delicious. I never would have thought to use couscous in soup. I made this last night with 2 C broccoli tossed in with the couscous and then 1 C of shimeiji mushrooms tossed in a couple minutes later. It was so good that I had it again for breakfast! Thanks Heidi!

 

Lucy
October 27, 2008

can't wait to try this--love the broccoli/cauliflower combo.

 

Biz
October 27, 2008

I love soup, hands down. Doesn't matter if it takes 10 minutes or 10 hours!

Thanks for a quick soup Heidi!

 

christie
October 27, 2008

this recipe was amazing! i made it tonight and threw in some Soyrizo for protein, and wow... it was super filling. a soup that is definitely a meal.

 

April
October 28, 2008

I'm even a tad bid lazier -- I picked up a bag of Bird's Eye Baby Broccoli mix (it's got broccoli florets, water chestnuts, edamame, and some funny looking little carrots) and used this instead of the broccoli and cauliflower. And, oh my goodness, what a fantastic soup! I'm sad that my husband is out of town and not around to enjoy it with me! Thanks Heidi!

 

carol shaw
October 28, 2008

I can't wait to see your next creation in my inbox. This soup was a fab dinner last night and I've just made Nikki's cookies and they're fantastic..... actually there aren't words. Hello from South Africa looking forward to the next installment

 

@said
October 28, 2008

Sorry this comment thread got so off-topic, Heidi. Brian Moss's comment was completely incoherent and badly expressed, and not worth making much out of. As it relates to food, yes, there is a common trend in the US (and the West in general) where foods that are considered to be peasant staples in other parts of the world are elevated to the gourmet, and often expensive, status. While this is historically and culturally interesting, and can be seen in anything from polenta to lobster, I don't see why an intelligent person would find that reason for offense. Brian Moss seems to have confused openness and appreciation for new and varied flavours and nutritive properties for misappropriation, insensitivity to the plight of the rest of the world, and pretentiousness, none of which was actually reflected here. It's his problem if he can't tell the difference.

However, I had to step in when I read Said's comment. As an American, I will say that by circumstance and definition, Americans are often better-positioned than citizens of other nations to help the world, and many individuals strive to do so. But it's just shameful to spread the lie that the American government itself is helpful and generous. Yes, America has meddled possibly more than any other nation in world affairs, but in terms of actual aid, you can see the shameful stinginess exhibited by the US government. Two quick examples would be when it came to donations during the Tsunami that hit Asia, and how the US stacks up against other nations in alleviating poverty: http://www.poverty.com/internationalaid.html.

Heidi, your recipe post did not deserve Brian Moss's misguided rant anymore than the US deserves Said's false praise.

 

KWhyteHappy
October 28, 2008

Heidi-I love your blog because I love food, food writing, and (as an added aesthetic bonus) beautiful photos to compliment the whole experience. What I also love is that it's like the dinner table - no politics or religion discussed! Even though I don't agree with throwing it in, it certainly made for interesting and entertaining reading! I will continue to come to your table and enjoy every minute of it. Thank you.

 

Mansi
October 28, 2008

it does sound lovely, and quite fittin as winter sets in CA! I've been finding comfort in baking breads recently, with fall favorites like Pumpkin and Apples:)

 

Heather/OneShotBeyond
October 28, 2008

I haven't heard of anything quite like this one. It looks like something that would take hours to create not just 10 mins. Great share!

 

Margaret
October 28, 2008

I made this last night and it was great.

Whole-wheat Couscous is one of my favorite grains...it's great in Thanksgiving stuffing, too.
Add it to the broth in place of the bread, cover it and wait three minutes.

 

Margaret
October 28, 2008

By the way....

I love your site. I made the Buttermilk raspberry cake last week and everyone loved it:-)

 

Becky and the Beanstock
October 28, 2008

I'm a big fan of quick soups -- especially when paired with a homemade, whole-wheat quick bread! 'Tis the season, too -- we had our first freeze last night and today I'm dusting off that crockpot. I bet this soup would be great too with red rice -- and if you can find whole wheat barley, you can find that too. It also has a nice, chewy texture and a satisfying, nutty flavor. I may give this a try tonight.

 

Laura
October 28, 2008

This sounds wonderful! Could I use quinoa? It seems like it would work. By the way, this website it my new favorite! I'm so thankful i've found it. It's amazing! Thank you Thank you.

 

Allison
October 28, 2008

What a perfectly simple recipe - I'd never thought of couscous soup, and I'll be trying this as warm busy mid-week meal. Thanks for sharing!

 

ellenelizabeth
October 28, 2008

This soup made a perfect lunch for me today! We returned from vacation last night and today I'm doing the post-vacation laundry, suitcase clean-out, and general uncluttering. This quick soup was the perfect solution for a healthy lunch after two weeks of eating out! I used whole wheat couscous; added chopped spinach, carrots, tomato and peas; and used harrisa to flavor the broth. So Yum!! Next time I might add some beans for a little protein and I think the texture would be a great contrast. Thank you Heidi!

 

Suzanne
October 28, 2008

We just had our first cool weather evening here in South Florida, this recipe is perfect for this weather! It sounds so easy, and yet absolutely delicious!

 

LUR
October 28, 2008

Heidi, I think it's time to shut down the comments for this post - @said's anti-American words are worse than Moss' and certainly has no place on this site.

Thanks for your wonderful recipes.

 

Sveta
October 28, 2008

Lur, are you saying it's worse and more anti-American to criticize a government's actions (which is what @Said is doing) while still being generous towards the actions and intent of individual Americans than it is to criticize and stereotype and generalize about all Americans, the way Brian Moss did?

 

Christine
October 28, 2008

I made this for dinner as my first meal after being sick for the weekend. It was so lovely and simple!