1 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons harissa
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, plus more for topping
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch approximate pieces
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup couscous
Begin by pulsing the cilantro and scallions in a small food processor to make a course puree. If you don’t have a food processor, a blender will work as well. Once the puree is made, transfer half of the mixture to a large bowl. Then, add the ground beef, egg, one tablespoon of harissa, and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt into the bowl with the cilantro and scallion mixture. Mix all the ingredients together with your hands until they are just combined. Next, using your hand or a small spoon, form the meat mixture into approximately 20 one-inch meatballs. You can also make them smaller or larger, to suit your taste and how you want them in the soup.
Next, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. While the oil is heating up, chop the carrots. Then, add the carrots and cook them. Stir them frequently until they begin to brown, this will take approximately four to five minutes. Next, stir in the remaining cilantro puree, one tablespoon harissa and 1 teaspoon cumin. Stir in the chicken broth next and add about two cups of water. Bring it all to a simmer then cook it for approximately two minutes. Then, gently add the meatballs. Drop them into the soup and allow them to simmer until they are almost cooked through, approximately seven to eight minutes.
Once the meatballs are ready, add the spinach and couscous to the soup. Cook it all together until the couscous is tender, this will take approximately five minutes. Then, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of cilantro and season the soup with salt. Sprinkle more cumin on top then serve. Serve hot and enjoy!
Since fall has officially begun and as the weather starts to get cooler, soup is a great meal to enjoy. This soup has couscous and meat, so it is fairly filling. If you want to make it even heartier, you can add beans as well. This recipe yields about four servings, so to make more simply double or triple the recipe as needed.
For those who want a healthier meal, you can modify some of the ingredients to make a more health-conscious meal. For the chicken broth, you can use a low-sodium option and use whole wheat couscous. You can also use turkey meat to make the meatballs.
I enjoy this soup with a side of a crusty bread to make it even more filling. If soup’s not your idea of a whole meal, you can also eat this in a smaller portion as a side for dinner or as an appetizer.