Moroccan Chicken Soup (easy!)

This delicious chicken soup recipe from Cook’s Illustrated is so easy and perfect for a chilly winter night.  The Moroccan seasonings add a wonderful and subtle exotic flavor.  What makes it especially easy (and not time-consuming) is you start with a rotisserie chicken from your local grocery store (see Cook’s Illustrated comment below).

Why this Recipe Works:  Rotisserie chicken (plain…not additional seasonings like garlic and herbs or glazed), canned chickpeas and quick-cooking couscous make up the foundation of this easy flavor-packed soup.  Garam Masala, an Indian spice blend made from up to 12 spices including cinnamon, cardamom and black pepper, is the key to creating depth and complexity…we found just 1 teaspoon of the store-bought variety offers the perfect spice combination.  For the zucchini, look for ones that are no longer than 8 inches, as larger zucchini are overly seedy and tough.  Serve with chopped cilantro and lemon wedges.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oilmoroccan-chicken-soup-photo
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 2 (14 oz*) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    [*I could only find 15 oz cans so you can use less at your discretion]
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup couscous (I used whole wheat couscous)
  • 1 (2-1/2 pound) rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded into bite-size pieces* (about 3 cups)
    [*I just used my hands to take the meat off the chicken and shred into pieces.  I also saved the juice from the chicken and added to the chicken broth]
  • Salt and pepper
  • Lemon and Cilantro (optional)

Directions:

1.  Heat oil in Dutch oven (I used a LeCreuset French oven) over medium heat until shimmering.  Cook onion until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garam masala and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2.  Add broth and tomatoes and their juice, and bring to simmer.  Stir in chickpeas, zucchini, and couscous and cook, covered, until couscous is tender, about 8 minutes.  Stir in chicken.  Cook another minute or two.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve.  Garnish with lemon wedge & chopped cilantro.