MOROCCAN CHICKEN SOUP WITH COUCOUS RECIPE
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 30 min
Total Time: 40 min
Yield: Serves 4 - 6
Chickpeas are used in many Moroccan soups, not only to add texture but also to make them hearty enough to serve as a main course. You can use canned chickpeas with this recipe, but be sure to rinse them well before adding them to the soup.
- 1 cup chickpeas, soaked for 6 hours or as long as overnight, drained and rinsed or one 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, mashed
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken, whole or parts, rinsed and patted dry
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons harissa
- 10 cups boiling water
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup couscous
- 2 teaspoons dried mint, preferably spearmint
Casserole large enough to saute and hold chicken and all ingredients.
- COOK the chickpeas: If using dried chickpeas, put them in a pot, add water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook, skimming the foam from the surface until no more appears, about 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer until the chickpeas are tender and are easily crushed with the back of a spoon, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain and set aside. If using canned chickpeas, rinse them 3 times under cold water, place them in a pot with water to cover, bring to a boil, and then drain immediately; set them aside.
- WHILE the chickpeas are cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the onions and garlic, and saute' until soft and golden, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken, bay leaves, cumin, paprika, pepper, tomato paste, and harissa. Stir, and cook until the chicken loses its pink color, about 5 minutes. Add the boiling water, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Skim the foam from the surface of the liquid. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and cook for 1 hour.
- REMOVE the chicken and bay leaves from the pot, and set the chicken aside until it is cool enough to handle. Then pull the chicken meat off the bone and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Return the cut-up chicken to the pot and add the chickpeas, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the couscous and simmer for 10 minutes more. Ladle the soup into bowls, and garnish with the dried mint.
- YOU can serve with harissa, French or Italian bread, pickled lemons.