Sunday, May 20, 2018

Moroccan-Inspired Red Pepper, Chickpea and Couscous Soup for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie Sundays)

I was craving red pepper soup, preferably creamy and with lots of flavor. I also had an onion, a large carrot, a cup of coconut milk and some dried Israeli couscous that needed to be used up. With those items, plus two cans of chickpeas from the pantry and a mix of almost all of my favorite Moroccan spices, the result was this tasty, creamy, and comforting vegan soup.  

I like a pureed red pepper soup, but also having the chickpeas and pearl couscous in this one give it a more interesting texture. You could leave the soup brothy, but in that case you want to chop your veggies and the red peppers more carefully and concisely. 

Moroccan-Inspired Red Pepper, Chickpea and Couscous Soup
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 6 to 8)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ras el hanout or your favorite curry
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
4 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 (16 oz) jarred red peppers, drained (chop them if you leave the soup brothy)
1 (14 oz) can chopped fire roasted tomatoes and their liquid
5 cups vegetable broth
3 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
1 cup coconut milk (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and carrots and saute until vegetables soften and onion turns translucent--about 6 minutes. Add garlic, parsley, and all spices and saute another 2 minutes--until spices are fragrant. 

Add drained red peppers, the tomatoes with their juices, and the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes--until vegetables are soft. Using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth.

Bring pureed soup to a low boil and stir in chickpeas and Israeli couscous and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, stir in coconut milk if using and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until warmed through. Serve and enjoy.

Notes/Results: This soup made me happy with its bright color, warm and earthy flavor and creamy texture. You can thin it our with more broth and/or more coconut milk but I thick the thickness of it. You could use any curry as well but if you don't have or can't find a ras el hanout blend, here is a recipe. I like to take it and punch it up with extra of my favorite spices. The Aleppo pepper is quickly becoming a favorite as it adds just enough heat to satisfy without being over-spicy. I would happily make this soup again.

 We have two great dishes in the Souper Sundays kitchen--let's take a look!

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog made Spicy Lentil Soup and said, "I always try to come up with a recipe for Cinco de Mayo! This year I'm making a spicy salsa lentil soup that is easy, tasty, plant based, gluten free and healthy. Since I retired, "easy" is the main ingredient in my recipes. ... Adding a jar of mind, medium, or hot salsa to a basic lentil soup really jazzes it up, gives it a little bite and some additional flavor."

Simona of briciole used Sichuan chili spice and other ingredients to make a Mild Chili Oil that she  used in vinaigrette to dress a salads and vegetables. She said, "The recipe that mostly inspired me blends chili oil and a vinegar and soy sauce mix to make a vinaigrette: I left the two separate so I can apportion each depending on the vegetable I am dressing: for example, a bit more vinegar on farm-fresh butter lettuce, less on roasted asparagus."

 Thank you Judee and Simona for joining me at Souper Sundays this week!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays is back with a new format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.)

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).

 Have a happy, healthy week!


  1. Deb,
    This soup not only looks delicious, it must be very nutritious with all those wonderful spices!

    1. Thanks Judee! It does have all of the flavor I was looking for.

  2. This soup looks so delicious, thanks for sharing.

  3. I like how hearty this soup is, lots of protein with the chickpeas. I brought you mushroom soup this week.

    1. Mahalo Tina! It's very satisfying! ;-) Thanks for joining in.

  4. HI — I just happened to make soup this weekend, so I linked it. When I wrote the post I had no idea I would do it, so it doesn’t mention this site, I should have read more carefully. Your recipe is a lot more imaginative than mine.

    best... mae at

    1. Hi Mae,
      Thanks for joining in. If you can go back to your post when you get a minute and add the link to Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen back to this page, that would be great and I can keep you in this week's roundup.
      Aloha, Deb

  5. I love it when you throw in the pot a few things you have on hand, some nice spices and voila' you get an awesome dish. Your soup looks great, Deb :)

  6. Added a link from CTB this month. Thanks for hosting Shark's Fin and Souper Sunday, Deb!


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