Moroccan soup with couscous
- November 2006
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 450g beef rump or sirloin, trimmed of excess fat and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 carrot, cut into small dice
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 1 heaped tbsp harissa paste (try Bart Spices Harissa Paste or Belazu Rose Harissa, from the spice and condiment section in supermarkets), plus extra to serve
- 2 tsp plain flour
- 1.2 litres vegetable stock, hot
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- 75g ready-to-eat dried apricots
- 900g butternut squash, deseeded, peeled and cut into small cubes
For the jewelled couscous
- 175g couscous
- 300ml vegetable stock, hot
- 2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the onions and garlic to the pan, reduce the heat slightly and cook for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the carrot and celery, cover and cook for 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened slightly. Stir in the harissa paste and flour and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the hot vegetable stock.
- Stir in the tomatoes and apricots, then bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Add the butternut squash and return the beef to the soup. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until both the squash and beef are tender.
- Meanwhile, make the jewelled couscous. Put the couscous into a large bowl. Pour over the hot stock, cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes to absorb the liquid. Fluff up the grains with a fork, then stir in the tomatoes and mint. Season.
- To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Pile a spoonful of couscous in the centre and serve with extra harissa on the side.
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