Simple Pepper Soup with Spiced Couscous Recipe
For the Pepper Soup:
2 fillets of firm white fish, cubed
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 Birds eye chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp mixed herbs (thyme, oregano, chives, savory), finely chopped
2 small red bell peppers, de-seeded and finely diced
2 tbsp olive oil salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
2 tsp fresh mint, finely shredded
For the Spiced Couscous:
seeds from 4 cardamom pods
1 star anise
1 dried cayenne chilli, coarsely chopped
Begin with the pepper soup. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and fry for about 4 minutes or until the onion is just soft. Scatter in the curry powder then add the fish pieces. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes, or until the fish is lightly coloured then add the bell pepper and chillies. Stir-fry for 2 minutes then add 300ml boiling water. Bring to a simmer and add the tomato purée and the chopped herbs. Reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes mix the cornflour (cornstarch) to a smooth slurry with 2 tbsp water then stir into the pepper soup. Bring back to a simmer, cover and continue to cook so the stock thicken as you prepare the couscous.
Combine the couscous and spices in a saucepan. Pour over 200ml boiling water then place on the hob and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute then take off the heat, cover and set aside to stand for 5 minutes. After this time, fluff up the couscous and divide between two plates.
Adjust the seasonings of the pepper soup to taste, stir in the shredded mint, divide between the tow place and serve accompanied by a nicely chilled dry white wine.
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