This spicy tomato and couscous soup recipe is an easy choice for a light midweek meal at lunch or dinner. It's a healthy vegan meal, perfect for batch cooking and making ahead.
I first made this spicy tomato and couscous soup back in 2010. I can't believe it was so long ago now. We'd just returned from a holiday in Egypt and I'd picked up a little cookbook while I was there, Egyptian Cooking. I love North African and Middle Eastern flavours and this couscous recipe (M'Deshesha) was one of the first dishes I tried from the book.
Usually I use couscous in salads or serve it with a tagine so adding it to a soup was first for me. But why not? The great thing about adding carbs like couscous to a soup means that the soup becomes more substantial and filling enough for a main meal.
There is nothing worse than making super healthy choices at lunchtime but then giving in to sweet cravings mid-afternoon because you haven't eaten enough!
This soup is a healthy filling recipe that will keep you going all afternoon. It's also perfect as a light choice for an evening meal.
How to batch cook this soup
As you may know, I love to batch cook, especially with soups. I make a big batch of soup one day and then eat it up for lunch over the following days. This soup is perfect for that. You can easily increase the quantities in the recipe card below to make 2 or 3 times as much.
Storing and reheating
You can keep this soup in the fridge for up to three days. However, the couscous absorbs even more liquid when it is in the fridge so you may need to add a little extra liquid when you reheat it so it's not too thick.
Alternatively, if it does really thicken up, the leftovers make a great side dish the next day. I think this particular recipe goes brilliantly with white fish such as cod.
You can also freeze this soup for up to three months in an airtight container.
Could you adapt this couscous soup?
Like with most soups there are lots of ways you could adapt this tomato and couscous coup. You could even omit the couscous and use a different carb altogether. How about rice, green lentils or bulgur wheat?
If you replace the couscous you will need to simmer the soup for longer at step 3 though as couscous cooks very quickly.
The spices, especially the caraway seeds in this soup really give it its distinctive anise flavour. If you don't have caraway seeds you could replace them with fennel seeds as they have a similar liquorice flavour.
You could also replace the dried parsley with fresh parsley. If you do, just stir some in at the end and sprinkle a little on top to garnish.
Can you make it even healthier?
This spicy couscous soup is pretty healthy but if you want to make it an even healthier soup then why not add a few extra vegetables. You could finely dice an onion and cook it gently in the olive oil at the beginning before adding the tinned tomatoes. You could also add some diced red pepper or grated carrot to the soup at the beginning.
More Spicy Vegan Soup Recipes
For more inspiration do check out the recipes below They are all tasty filling vegan soups that are full of spice too!
M'Deshesha: Tomato and Couscous Soup
- 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1.5 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 dried chilli pepper
- 5 cloves garlic
- Pinch salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 100 g couscous
- Puree the tomatoes in a blender then add to a saucepan with a little olive oil. Bring to the boil then add the coriander. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Crush the caraway seeds and dried chilli pepper in a pestle and mortar. Add the garlic and a pinch of salt and crush that too. Add to the saucepan along with the paprika and parsley.
- Add the couscous and about 500ml of water. Simmer until the couscous is cooked through. It should take about 5 minutes. If it becomes too thick, add another dash of water.
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Do let me know if you try this spicy tomato and couscous soup. I love to get feedback from readers.
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