Moroccan Chicken-and-Couscous Soup
- ACTIVE: 10 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
A mainstay in Morocco, steamed couscous topped with a very liquid stew is undeniably delectable, but not exactly quick. We've found, though, that combining all the ingredients in a soup yields similarly sumptuous results in a much shorter time. The dish is decidedly spicy; if you prefer less heat, just reduce the amount of cayenne.
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 4), cut into approximately 1 1/2-by-1/4-inch strips
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 sweet potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup tomato puree
- 1 quart water
- 2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
- 1/2 cup couscous
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Increase the heat to moderately high. Add the chicken, cayenne, cumin, salt, and pepper to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the sweet potato, zucchini, tomato puree, water, and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the couscous to the soup. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pot from the heat. Let the soup stand, covered, for 2 minutes; add the parsley and serve.
Soup with such a riot of flavors needs a wine that's big but simple. Try a California Zinfandel here for its generous, spicy fruit, supple texture, and full body.