Winter often makes us crave hearty, warm meals. Try this low calorie, low sodium soup to help fill you up on a cold winter day!

“Couscous provides a great source of fiber and protein. Fiber is important for heart health because it helps block inflammation and lower your LDL or “bad cholesterol,” said Sheila Mulhern, RD, a registered outpatient dietitian. “The red peppers and carrots also contribute to fiber along with vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium – all supporting heart health.”

Spiced Carrot and Bell Pepper Soup with Couscous Swirl


  • 4 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves raw garlic
  • 1 lb(s) raw carrots
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
  • .12 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • .25 teaspoons of ginger
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon Harissa
  • 6 large red bell peppers
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 8 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dried fine couscous


  1. Heat a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and once it is very hot, add the garlic and onion.
  2. Cook until lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes, then add the carrots and cook for 5 minutes together
  3. Add the cumin, paprika and other spices and cook for 1 minute more.
  4. Pour in the broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over gentle heat until the carrots and peppers are tender, 25-30 minutes.
  5. Use an immersion blender (or transfer to an upright blender) to puree the mixture until smooth.
  6. Add harissa a dollop at a time, to taste.
  7. In a separate pot, the water to a simmer and stir in the couscous. Cover the pot and remove from the heat.
  8. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. Just prior to serving, stir to fluff the couscous.
  9. Ladle the soup into bowls, and spoon a few tablespoons of cooked couscous in the center of each, swirling it slightly.
  10. Scatter parsley over the soup and top each bowl with 2 tablespoons of yogurt.


 Serves 4

  • Calories: 265
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Cholesterol: 1 mg
  • Sodium: 221  mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 42 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 8 g
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Protein: 8 g

Sources: Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman

Sheila Mulhern, RD

Sheila Mulhern, RD

Outpatient Registered Dietitian

Sheila is a registered dietitian for Adventist HealthCare’s Outpatient Nutrition & Diabetes program.

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