Smoky Tomato and Couscous Soup

by Hilary Gauntt on December 29, 2015

This spicy soup would make a great lunch or dinner for these chilly days. It gets a kick from the chipolte chile and the adobo sauce adds the smoky flavor. The recipe comes together quickly, and with the ham and couscous makes a complete meal. Look for the canned chili in the Hispanic section of your grocery store. After removing the one chili you need along with a bit of the sauce, wrap the can tightly with foil and it will live on in your refrigerator for quite awhile, ready to add a complex flavor to other soups and stews. As with so many soups, I thought this was even better the next day.

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup cilantro leaves

1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 large onion, finely chopped

1 canned chipolte chile in adobo sauce, chopped

1 32 ounce container chicken broth

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

3/4 cup israeli couscous (also called pearled couscous)

4 ounces ham, cut into 1/4 inch cubes

salt and pepper

Using a food processor, pulse the sour cream and 1/4 cup cilantro until smooth; refrigerate.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and chipoltle chile and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Add the couscous and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Stir in the ham; season with salt and pepper.
Note: My box of couscous contained one cup, and I tossed it all in. Next time I won’t!

To serve, top the soup with the cilantro sour cream and remaining 1/4 cup cilantro. Serves 4.
tomato soup

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