What's for Dinner: Moroccan Chicken Soup

Tired of the same old chicken soup? Moroccan spices, chickpeas, couscous and cilantro help make this version one of the most exotic and delicious soups we've had in ages!

Credit: Cooking to Beat the Clock: Delicious, Inspired Meals in 15 Minutes by Sam Gugino

Servings: 5


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, or 18 ounces chicken tenders
  • 1 medium onion, about 8 ounces
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika or 3/4 teaspoon sweet paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 medium zucchini, about 12 ounces
  • 1/2 cup instant couscous
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 sprigs cilantro


Put the oil in a deep heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the chicken into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes. Add to the skillet, raise the heat to high and stir once or twice.

While the chicken browns, peel and quarter the onion and put in a food processor. Pulse until just chopped. Or chop by hand. Add the onion, cumin, ginger and paprika to the skillet. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock to the skillet, scraping any bits from the bottom with a wide wooden spoon. Cover and bring to a boil, about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim the zucchini and slice in half lengthwise. Then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide half moons. When the soup comes to a boil, add the zucchini and the couscous to the skillet, stir and cover.

Open the can of chickpeas into a small colander, rinse and drain briefly. Add to the skillet. Cover and let the soup return to a boil, then lower the heat slightly so the soup simmers briskly for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chop the leaves from the cilantro sprigs. Stir into the soup, cook for 1 minute and serve.

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Need a colander for draining those chickpeas? Shop for a colander.

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