This is very different from the typical chicken soup that we all love. Sometimes though, it’s exciting to venture out using flavors much more tantalizing. This fabulously rich soup reflects many of the daring flavors of North Africa. Happily all the ingredients are found right here, although it would be fun to actually travel there! Instead of noodles or rice normally served in chicken soup, I’m adding a wonderful fragrant lemon-apricot whole wheat couscous. The skinny for each main course serving, 418 calories, 8 grams of fat and 10 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. This dish is sooo hearty and extremely fiber rich with 7 grams per serving! A true exotic comfort food.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
1 recipe for Lemon–Apricot Couscous, see below
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups onions, diced
2 tablespoons ginger (from a jar), see shopping tip
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 teaspoon each paprika and coriander
½ teaspoon each cumin, cinnamon and cardamom
¼ teaspoon each turmeric and red pepper flakes
½ cup white wine
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, I used Swanson’s
1 (14.5 oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
12 ounces cooked chicken breast, cut into small chunks, see shopping tip
¼ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and quartered
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1. Prepare the Lemon–Apricot Couscous. Set aside until soup is finished.
2. While couscous is cooking, in a large nonstick pot, heat olive oil. Add onions and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in ginger, garlic, paprika, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute.
3. Deglaze the pot with wine. Reduce until liquid is almost evaporated. Stir in beans, tomatoes, chicken and olives. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with fresh ground pepper, to taste.
4. To serve: Ladle 1⅓ cups of soup into each bowl. Scoop ½ cup serving of couscous on top of each.
Makes 6-(1⅓) cups serving
Lemon Apricot Couscous Recipe
2 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
1 cup dry whole wheat couscous, see shopping tip
¼ cup dried apricots, diced
1. In a saucepan, bring to a boil the water, honey, lemon juice and zest. Remove from flame.
2. Stir in couscous and apricots; cover and let sit until all water is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
3. Remove cover and fluff with a fork.
Makes about 4 cups
Couscous is a staple in Morocco. It’s made from semolina flour. In fact, the same flour used to make pasta. Most couscous found in markets is instant. You just add hot water and let sit for 5 minutes.
You’ll find whole wheat or whole grain couscous in most supermarkets or health food stores. It’s usually in the rice aisle. It’s also sold at Trader Joe’s.
Ginger (in a jar) is a convenient way to use ginger. You’ll find it in the produce aisle where garlic (in a jar) is sold.
Trader Joe’s and most markets sell packages of cooked chicken breasts. I love using a Trader Joe’s (12 ounce) package of grilled chicken.
I also love the flavor of Swanson’s reduced-sodium chicken broth however, If you’re on a low sodium diet, choose a broth with less sodium than this one.
Weight Watchers (old points) 8
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 10
|SKINNY FACTS: for 1⅓ cup serving including whole wheat couscous
418 calories, 8g fat, 26g protein, 60g carbs, 7g fiber, 803mg sodium, 20g sugar
|FAT FACTS: for 1⅓ cup serving with regular couscous
502 calories, 16g fat, 30g protein, 58g carbs, 4g fiber, 1050mg sodium, 20g sugar