This is the ultimate soup for when you’re feeling a little punk. Couscous chicken soup is loaded with health-supporting ingredients like ginger, garlic, turmeric, and lemongrass, and its light and cheery flavor is comfort food at its best.
I knew this winter was going to be a tough one when my annual, knock-down-drag-out cold arrived in October. I really hope that I’ve paid my cold dues for the season, but judging by the red-noses and saggy faces of folks schlepping around the grocery store, looking like death warmed over, cold season has arrived with claws extended.
I don’t care if there’s science behind it; I don’t care if it’s a placebo effect of memories from my youth, sipping chicken soup when sick. All I know is that there’s no better comfort food than chicken soup when you’re under the weather.
I’m a big fan of pasta in my chicken soup (when I was young, it was chicken and stars), so I always add pearl couscous (instead of noodles) because it’s easy to keep on the spoon. (You know what I’m sayin’ — you don’t want to struggle with your soup and splashy noodles when you’re sick.)
Use a little couscous for a brothy soup, as in the video at the top; a lot of couscous for a hearty stew, as in the photos. Good stuff.
My couscous chicken soup includes health-supporting ingredients like ginger, garlic, lemongrass, turmeric, and a big squeeze of lemon, which also creates a light and bright soup. Comforting and good for you — it’s a win-win, whether you’re sick or not,
Stay healthy, everyone, and eat lots of soup!
- 1 cup chopped onions (about 1/2 of a medium)
- 3/4 cup sliced leeks (about 1 medium, white and light green parts only)
- 1/2 cup sliced carrots (about 1 medium)
- 1/2 cup chopped celery (about 2 ribs)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass (or paste)
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 8 ounces cooked chicken, chopped or shredded (rotisserie chicken is great)
- 1 cup pearl couscous
- 1/2 of a lemon
- salt and pepper
- chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Heat one tablespoon of the stock in a 4 to 5 quart Dutch oven or stock pot over medium. When it begins to sizzle, add the onions, leeks, carrots, and celery. Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 6 minutes. Stir in the ginger, lemongrass, and garlic, and heat until aromatic. Sprinkle the turmeric over the vegetables and stir.
- Add the stock, chicken, and couscous, and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer; cook for 15 minutes. Squeeze the half lemon into the soup, taste, and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Top with parsley before serving.