Chicken and Couscous Soup
My mother likes to tease me about how I had no sense of the seasons when I was a child, picking sweaters and boots in the summer and insisting on going to school in shorts in the winter. Judging by my childhood pictures, it looks like I often had my way in the vestimentary department. Every time I see her, she likes to remind me of it as proof that I have always been têtue comme une mule, stubborn like a mule.
I don’t know about the mule thing, I think I’m rather docile as a lamb, well, at least when things are aligned with my will, you see, so I’m not really all that stubborn after all. As for my season confusion, I will give her that. It’s true when it comes to clothes and it’s true also when it comes to food. I crave stews and soulful food in the summer all the time. Lately, the increase in temperature has inspired me to take on soup experimentation. And I’m not talking gazpacho and other cold soups, I’m referring to warm, comforting ones. Those that fill the kitchen with steam and make you want to run and crank up the air conditioning. There was the holy grail of soups I made last week, which was beautiful, followed by this chicken and couscous soup, which I’d like to baptize the ultimate soul soother.
If you think chicken soup is comforting, try it with couscous and you’ll find out how much more comforting it can be. Couscous is not traditionally used in soups in Morocco. It is my own creation to combine the two together. Not bad what being confused about the seasons can result in, huh? Things could be much worse.
Chicken and Couscous Soup Recipe
4 to 6 servings
1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite sized cubes
2 leeks, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 bay leaf
5 cups low sodium-chicken broth
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup whole grain couscous
Place the chicken with the leeks and olive oil in a pot. Sauté over medium-high heat,turning occasionally, 5 minutes.
Add the carrots, celery, bay leaf and chicken broth. Season with ground coriander, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook 25 to 30 minutes.
Remove the pot from heat. Discard the bay leaf. Add the couscous, cover with a lid and let stand 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
Serve steaming hot.