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Tornado Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin & Couscous Soup

It’s winter soup season again, but after the tornado ripped through our commercial district, Albany the other day it felt more like gin season to calm the nerves. It’s quite ironic, I was only talking to an American friend last weekend about tornado’s in The State and how they used to park up and watch them pass. I did watch the tornado in Albany, thinking how cool it was to see my first one, for several minutes anyway until we realised it was heading straight for our building and we all dived under our work desks for shelter. No one was hurt but our building did loose some external roofing and internal ceiling tiles, the kitchen ceiling came down but thankful our building has two kitchens so eating continues. Five cars in the car park were damaged but thankfully my three week old little green bomb was untouched.

So here is my tornado soup, it’s spicy and comforting with a bit of a cayenne pepper kick to it, I suggest you start with a pinch and then add more if you like spicy food.


  • 1 butternut pumpkin
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 200ml tin chopped tomatoes
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1tsp cumin seeds, freshly ground
  • 1tsp coriander seeds, freshly ground
  • large handful chopped coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • vegetable oil


  1. Pour 2 tablespoons vegetable oil into a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and saute until opaque.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne and turmeric and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Turn heat to low and add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable stock and place a lid on the pan and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. In the meantime peel and de-seed the pumpkin. Grate the pumpkin or process through a food processor on grate/julienne mode.
  6. Add the harissa and fresh coriander to the stock and stir. Then add the pumpkin and bring the soup to the boil.
  7. Once soup has come to the boil, turn the heat off and add the couscous and stir. You don’t want the pumpkin to go soft but keep its form and slight crunch.
  8. Place lid back on pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes.
  9. Season to taste and serve
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Yeepers, glad to hear you’re alright after all that! Hasn’t been a good year for us on the natural disaster front really, although I suppose it could be much worse.

    I’m looking forward to soup season but none of the flatmates are really soup fans, sigh. Love how this soup sounds – warming with a bit of tomato to remind you of the last of summer.

    May 5, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      You could always make soup for just you and freeze little portions off for lunch, I always do that. So nice to look forward to a treat at lunch time.

      May 5, 2011
  2. I have never cooked butternut this way. It sure sounds delicious.

    May 7, 2011
    • peasepudding #

      I have discovered a lot of new ways for butternut lately, even a raw grated salad with coconut.

      May 9, 2011

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