Monday, 28 March 2011

Couscous and Vegetable Soup

It's heading into autumn in Australia, so this post is about a soup I last made a few months ago now. Actually I've been making this soup regularly for over 10 years. I usually tweak it a bit, but it always smells fragrant and fabulous. I've tried it as a Quinoa and Vegetable Soup, but it wasn't as good, so I think I'll stick with using couscous. 

I've always made this with regular couscous, but have recently discovered that it has a medium GI of 61-65. Israeli pearl couscous is lower GI (52), so I'll have to try it with that next time. I've only used pearl couscous once, it was quite a few years ago, and don't remember liking it very well, but it should be fine in a soup, where it is more a textural component.

Couscous and Vegetable Soup

Looks like I used a kumara this time as well

2 tblsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 chicken breast fillets, cut into 1cm pieces
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tblsp tomato paste
425gm can diced tomatoes
1.5L hot chicken stock
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
4 yellow button squash, quartered
90gm (1/2 cup) couscous
2 tblsp coarsley chopped coriander

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, add onion and cook over low heat until soft, then add chicken and cook a further 3 minutes. Add cinnamon sticks, cardamon and paprika and stir over low heat for 3 minutes until fragment.

Add tomato paste, tomato and chicken stock and season to taste. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

Add carrots, cook for  5 minutes, then add zucchini and squash and cook a further 10 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender. Gradually pour in couscous and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon sticks and serve in warm soup bowls sprinkled with coriander.
Serves 6

Adapted from a recipe in Australian Gourmet Traveller August 1997

The original recipe includes 1/4 tsp chili powder with the other spices. My family don't like chili heat, so I've never added it, but I'm sure it would be nice.

I love pumpkin, so often add a chunk of that with the carrots.

The quinoa wasn't awful in the soup, but there just wasn't as much compared to the couscous and it changed it somehow. It might be worth trialling adding more quinoa.

Cross posted from Soup, Soup, Glorious Soup


  1. I'm going to try this as soon as my hubby goes back overseas. I bet it gets even more delicious in the fridge, over a few days.

  2. I hope you do get to try it, it does get more delicious, it can get pretty thick too in the fridge, and sometimes will need thinning down with a little water in a day or two. It's so wonderfully fragrant.