Fall and Winter really is soup season. A nice, warm bowl of soup is so comforting and so easy to make. Other than chopping all the veggies, soups are more of a dump and wait kinda meal.
This I like.
I sure hope so because a couple months back I made several new soups and now I’m ready to share. Today’s recipe is Chicken Soup with Couscous.
I feel that I’ve eaten couscous before, but I think this was my first time cooking with couscous. For those of you who don’t know what couscous is, it’s a type of pasta. In general couscous is crushed or coarsely ground durum wheat that is mixed with water and wheat flour then formed in to tiny balls. Traditionally, couscous is served as the base of a dish with stew then served over it. This is very similar to rice and pasta noodles.
Ok, what is durum wheat? I’m glad you asked because I didn’t know this one either. Durum wheat is a hard wheat that yields flour to make pasta. The wheat itself is a very hardy plant that can withstand drought and harsh temperatures. It has a higher protein and gluten content than other wheat. Semolina flour and therefore semolina pasta comes from durum wheat.
Back to couscous…much like other pastas, couscous grows in size as it is cooked. One cup of it in its dry form will go a long way once cooked. I wish I had taken a picture comparing one ball of uncooked couscous to one ball of cooked couscous. The cooked is probably three times the size of the uncooked, easily.
Most of the time I see recipes for couscous in salads. Stay tuned, I might have to try a recipe showcasing it that way. My first time cooking with it though, I used it in a soup. I’m going to be completely honest with you here, it tasted great. However, my soup was only a soup the first day. The couscous continued to soak up the chicken broth and wasn’t quite a soup when it came to eating my leftovers. The flavor was still great and I will make this recipe again, but it will only be a soup the first day. I suppose if you wanted to add some more chicken broth, you can bring the soup aspect of it back to life. I was at work when I first realized this had happened and didn’t have that choice.
Here is how you make this Chicken Soup with Couscous. The original recipe is here.
Start by chopping up onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Heat extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) in a dutch oven or large pot and add the chopped veggies.
Once the veggies have begun to soften, add in the garlic, turmeric and ginger. Give the veggies a good stir to ensure they are well coated with the spices.
Then add in the chicken broth, rosemary, thyme as well as salt and pepper. Place the chicken breasts in the pot with the veggies and broth. Make sure the chicken is fully covered by the broth.
Bring soup to a boil and stir in the couscous. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, pull it out and shred until desired size.
Add back to soup as well as adding the peas. Once peas are heated through, you are ready to serve. Isn’t so pretty?!
Here’s the recipe.
Chicken Soup with Couscous
4 SmartPoints for each serving
Serving size is approximately 2 cups
- 1 Tbsp EVOO
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 3 ribs celery, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 cup pearl couscous
- 2/3 cup frozen peas
- Heat oil in dutch oven or large pot. Add chopped veggies to pot. Cook until slightly tender.
- Add in garlic, turmeric and ginger. Stir so that the veggies are well coated with the spices.
- Add in chicken broth, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.
- Place chicken in pot with veggies and broth. Make sure the chicken is covered with the broth.
- Bring to boil, then add the couscous. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Pull chicken out and shred to desired size. Add chicken back to pot.
- Add in the frozen peas and heat through.
- Dish up & enjoy!
Thanks for joining me today!