Lamb Meatball Couscous Soup

This lamb meatball couscous soup combines homemade spiced lamb meatballs, Israeli couscous and a light flavorful broth. Plus it’s ready in under 1 hour!

This lamb meatball couscous soup is ready in under an hour and packed full of winter deliciousness.

I officially calling this week “soup week” here on Nutmeg Nanny. I posted my new england clam chowder on Monday and looked into my reserves and saw I had 2 more soup recipes waiting to be posted. What the heck, lets just do them all in one week. Plus it’s still snowy and cold here so the only thing that actually sounds good to me lately is hot soup.

I hate to be the type of person who complains about the weather but I’m over it. Luckily for me I’m heading off to Florida soon so I can defrost while I’m down there. Plus while I’m there I get to finally meet my new nephew!!!

This lamb meatball couscous soup is packed full of flavor and ready in under an hour. Homemade meatballs swimming in a simple broth with hearty couscous.

Now, about this soup. This baby is packed full of lightly spiced lamb meatballs and paired with a light broth and lots of big fat Israeli couscous. The great thing about this soup is that you can prepare the meatballs ahead and then all you need to cook the day of making the soup is the broth and couscous. Just throw in the meatballs and let them warm.

I actually love the meatball making part of this soup. There is something stress releasing about plunging your hands into a bowl full of cold meat and rolling it out into little meatballs. I know, it’s sounds gross. As I typed that I thought to myself “Brandy. You cannot talk about how you like to plunge your hands into raw meat and make meatballs. You sounds like a freak.”

Fine. I’m a freak. It’s ok, I know it.

{Looking for ever more delicious soup ideas? Try these on for size: cream of roasted asparagus soupcauliflower cheddar beer soup and slow cooker beef barley soup}

This lamb meatball couscous soup is packed full of homemade meatballs and Israeli couscous. Plus it's ready in under an hour!


Lamb Meatball Couscous Soup

This lamb meatball couscous soup combines homemade spiced lamb meatballs, Israeli couscous and a light flavorful broth. Plus it's ready in under 1 hour!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes


For meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

For soup:

  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste

Slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma


For meatballs:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl add all ingredients and mix together until the meat is fully mixed.

Roll the meat into 1 tablespoon sized meatballs.

Place meatballs onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until no longer pink on the outside.

When ready remove from the oven and set aside while you complete the rest of the soup.

For soup:
While the meatballs are cooking start preparing your couscous. In a medium sized pot set over high heat add water and bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, reduce heat to low and cover. Cook the couscous until all the water has been absorbed and the couscous is fully cooked.

Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium sized soup pot set over medium heat add olive oil. Once the oil is hot add in the onion and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in chicken stock and tomatoes paste.

Add in meatballs and couscous and let simmer for 5-10 minutes until meatballs are warmed.

Note: You can also equally divide the couscous into bowls and pour the hot soup over it if you don't want it soaking up any of the broth during the simmering stage.

39 Responses to “Lamb Meatball Couscous Soup”

  1. #
    Faith (An Edible Mosaic) — February 18, 2015 at 8:08 am

    I have dinner all planned for tonight and I’m tempted to throw my plans out and make this instead. It looks amazing!!

    And yay for escaping the cold and heading to Florida! Hope you have an awesome trip and congrats on your new nephew. <3

  2. #
    Danielle - Krafted Koch — February 18, 2015 at 8:33 am

    This is so amazing, I can’t wait to make myself a bowl for the cold Minnesota days we are currently suffering through!

  3. #
    Melanie @ Carmel Moments — February 18, 2015 at 9:22 am

    Winter doesn’t get any more comforting than with a big ole bowl of soup. Looks perfect!

  4. #
    Ashley @ Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen — February 18, 2015 at 9:26 am

    I love lamb dishes, and pairing it with couscous IN SOUP!? Yes, please!

  5. #
    Nicole Johnson — February 18, 2015 at 9:49 am

    This soup is so unique! It sounds amazing, and the photos are beautiful!

  6. #
    Kirsten — February 18, 2015 at 9:52 am

    This soup looks like a great bowl to warm us up on a snowy winter day!
    I don’t think you’re a freak, but when my kitchen is in the 50s I don’t like plunging my hands in a bowl of cold meat!
    Have fun in Florida!

  7. #
    heather @french press — February 18, 2015 at 10:32 am

    any week is a good week for soup week, especially if meatballs are involved!! this looks AMAZING! and even though we are pretty warm here, I’d rather be in Florida have fun!!

  8. #
    Stephanie @ Back for Seconds — February 18, 2015 at 11:05 am

    Florida sounds so nice right now…so does this soup!

  9. #
    Kirsten/ComfortablyDomestic — February 18, 2015 at 11:38 am

    Giant pearls of couscous make me happy. Who’s the freak, now? I’d love a bowl of this soup to warm up with today.

  10. #
    Peggy Gilbey McMackin — February 18, 2015 at 11:46 am

    This soup looks delicious, and a bit unique. I prepare a couple soups with little meatballs, but the lamb in soup is not one I’ve ever thought to use. Very fun and warming! Wishing you a lovely defrost in Florida, and in seeing your new nephew!

  11. #
    Barrett at Dirty Laundry Kitchen — February 18, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    I love this idea. I can’t wait to make it- it’s one of my favorite dishes in soup form.

  12. #
    Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits — February 18, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    This soup sounds and looks fantastic! I’m sitting in a freezing office right now, and all I can think of is how much this soup would warm me up! Have fun in Florida!

  13. #
    The Food Hunter — February 18, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I love the idea of soup week and this recipe looks so good.

  14. #
    Colleen (Souffle Bombay) — February 18, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    Well, my daughter & I are freaks juuust like you…making meatballs is one of our favorite things to do. We like making them more than we do eating them, lol! This looks like a great big bowl of comfort! Enjoy Fla & your nephew!! Can’t wait to see some pics of the freshie! Nothings better than a baby…not even a meatball!

  15. #
    Catherine — February 18, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Dear Brandy, I love how you seasoned the lamb…this sounds so wonderful. I could not think of a better winter dish. xo, Catherine

  16. #
    Martha@A Family Feast — February 18, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Bring on the soups! With this crazy winter weather we’re having – this is the perfect meal! (And have a great time in FLA – so jealous…!) 🙂

  17. #
    Justine | Cooking and Beer — February 18, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    This soup looks unbelievable! All of my favorite things in one bowl! So fun. Have fun “defrosting” in Flordia! 🙂 Pinned!

  18. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — February 18, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    This soup looks so delicious! I love couscous – and it is perfect in this soup! And there’s nothing like soup to warm the soul this time of year! Have fun in Florida!

  19. #
    Ginny McMeans — February 18, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    I want to slurp up that broth. Lovin’ the couscous too. You really are a soup pro!

  20. #
    amanda @ fake ginger — February 18, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Mmm lamb! I need a big bowl of this in my life!

  21. #
    Laura — February 19, 2015 at 2:45 am

    I am loving everything about this recipe! So many wonderful elements! Pinned and stumbled!

  22. #
    Brenda@Sugar-Free Mom — February 19, 2015 at 7:14 am

    I guess I’m gross too as I love to plunge my hands in cold raw meat and make meatballs! These so amazing! Have fun in Florida, I’m jealous!

  23. #
    Heather / girlichef — February 19, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Count me in for soup week – that just makes me happy. You know what would make really happy, though? A bowl of this fantastic soup, of course. Loving the big balls and the little balls {snicker}, not only does it sound tasty, it’s also fun!

  24. #
    Becky | The Cookie Rookie — February 19, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Girl you are killing it with these beautiful recipes!! LOVE!

  25. #
    Julie — February 19, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I have never commented before but just have to say that your photos and food styling are absolutely some of the best I have seen. Content and quality are consistently beautiful and professional!

    Also, made your osso buco a while back and it was phenomenal. Thanks!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — February 20th, 2015 @ 8:13 am

      Hi Julie! Thank you so much for the kind words 🙂 I’m glad you liked the osso buco too. It’s a favorite around here.

  26. #
    Angie — February 19, 2015 at 11:39 am

    This soup looks amazing, and perfect for this cold weather. Yay for your Florida trip! I don’t use lamb nearly enough in recipes.

  27. #
    Cookin Canuck — February 19, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    When I first spotted this soup yesterday, my jaw dropped. The color, the lamb, the couscous…it’s all calling my name!

  28. #
    Erin @ Texanerin Baking — February 19, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    How has nobody commented on the placement of all those couscous?! Holy cow. How long did that take?! And don’t tell me that they just fell that way out of the bag. 😉 Love these photos!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — February 19th, 2015 @ 3:28 pm

      Haha I swear they just fell into place like that!

  29. #
    Anita — February 20, 2015 at 2:08 am

    Gorgeous soup! I love lamb and couscous but never put them together like this!

  30. #
    Jennie @themessybakerblog — February 20, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Wow, this is one stunning dish. I love that you used lamb to make the meatballs. Pinned.

  31. #
    Meg @ The Housewife in Training FIles — February 20, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    Can you believe I have never had couscous and I don’t think I have ever had lamb? I will just crawl back into my hole now….but while in there,I am gonna whip up this soup! It sounds ah mazing!

  32. #
    Angie | Big Bear's Wife — February 20, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    I’m totally cool with soup week! I’ll be right over! haha I’m with you, I CAN’T WAIT FOR FLORIDA! Bring on some warm weather! Not too much longer!

  33. #
    Coleen @ The Redhead Baker — February 21, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    This sounds AMAZING! We just got another 6 or so inches today, so I think this soup will be in order for dinner tomorrow night!

  34. #
    Lauren @ Healthy Delicious — February 23, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    This soup looks like a big ole bowl of comfort. Which I could definitely use right now. I’m also headed to Florida soon and I kind of just want to stay there. This winter needs to call it quits already!

  35. #
    Justine — October 6, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Just wanted to let you know this has become a staple in our home and we call it Adult SpaghettiOs because the couscous soaks the liquid up a bit. We LOVE it!

    • nutmegnanny replied: — October 6th, 2016 @ 9:39 pm

      Hi Justine! Thank you so much for letting me know 🙂 Also, I’m totally LOVING that you call it adult SpaghettiO’s, hahaha. It totally is!


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