All that sounds good to me on cold, rainy January days is staying in bed. Reading by the fire. Sipping a cup of tea. Or three. Eating soup. Curling up with blankets and cozy sweaters and fuzzy socks. Watching You've Got Mail or Emma or Pride and Prejudice for the millionth time.
But there are three precious children in my care and items in our schedule that can not be avoided despite cold, rainy January days. And so we brave the rain and venture out, me, wrapped in the coziest sweater I can get away with out of the house, and my children, looking like they are expecting to play in 60 degree weather. (My children do not believe in coats. Unless snow is involved. We're working on that one.)
But then we return to a warm home and soup is definitely a part of the plan. We will have had 3 soups by the end of the workweek this week. Yum.
For Christmas, Brent's parents gave me William Sonoma's Soup of the Day: 365 recipes for every day of the year. I am already thoroughly enjoying it.
The recipe I'm sharing today is my version of page 72 from this delightful cookbook...I have a feeling you might see some others shared soon. I used chicken stock instead of broth in the recipe...and I have a feeling that made an amazing difference...but if you just have broth on hand, I'm sure it will be yummy too! The whole family loved it...my only complaint? That it only served the 5 of us. No leftovers for lunch. (I will probably double it next time, as I like to be able to freeze half or use the rest for lunches.)
Moroccan Lamb Meatball & Couscous Soup
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp chili powder
pinch of ground cinnamon
salt and pepper
1 lb. ground lamb
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup Israeli couscous (pearls)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, minced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp chopped mint
1. For the meatballs, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Oil a baking sheet.
2. In a bowl, combine first 8 ingredients (through the cinnamon). Stir in 1/2 tsp salt. Add the lamb and tomato paste to the spices and mix with your hands to combine well.
3. Using a teaspoon, scoop up 1 tsp of lamb mixture at a time, rounding the meat into a ball. Place on the cookie sheet. (I believe this yielded 45-50 bite-sized meatballs for me.) Bake until meatballs are fully cooked, about 10 minutes.
4. In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil over high heat. Add the couscous, reduce heat to low and cover, cooking until all the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, in a large dutch oven, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots and garlic for about 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the meatballs and couscous. Allow to simmer 10 minutes, until warmed. Removed from heat. Stir in the mint, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
Do you have a favorite recipe for cold days? I'd love to know!