Moroccan Lamb Meatball and Couscous soup

Another winner from Taste, the Williams Sonoma blog! This is a very easy recipe. The meatballs are seasoned with wonderful spices and baked. I did bake them longer than the ten minutes called for but in retrospect I think the ten minutes would be enough as you simmer them with the couscous. I made the meatballs in the morning and refrigerated them and then finished the soup right before dinner. It comes together very quickly! I had no mint but believe it or not I went outside in Denver on a 60 degree March day and found enough leaves under a large warm southern facing rock for the garnish!!

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1 t. each ground cumin and coriander

1/4 t. each curry powder, oregano, and thyme

1//8 t. each dry mustard and chili powder

pinch of cinnamon

salt and pepper

1 lb. ground lamb

2 T. tomato paste

1 c. Israeli couscous (this is a larger grain couscous)

3 T. olive oil

2 shallots, minced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

3 c. chicken broth

1 T. mint, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil or paper a baking sheet. In a medium bowl, combine spices, adding 1/2 t. salt. Add the lamb and tomato paste and mix to combine. Make meatballs by scooping up 1 t. of the lamb mixture. Place on sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes.

In a small saucepan bring 1 1/4 c. water to boil over high heat. Add the couscous, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until all liquid is absorbed, 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large heavy pot, warm the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté one minute. Add the broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add the meatballs and couscous and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in mint and season with salt and pepper. Serves 4-6.

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