It’s no secret that fall is my favorite season. But spring easily takes second place and the sudden change in weather has me really looking forward to May. There’ll be sunshine, grilling, beach trips. My birthday which may or may not be good depending on how many more gray hairs I discover before it rolls around. Should there be more than 10, I will hide under the blankets until time reversal becomes possible. Then I’ll just rewind to five springs ago when I was younger and fresher looking.
Either way, there are still a few weeks until the real warm weather hits us. Plenty of time left for soups and stews, giant steaming cups of hot chocolate and big, hearty meals. This chicken soup with couscous has quickly become a winter favorite. So much that I’d probably just say screw it and eat it mid-summer. It’s the couscous, I tell you. It’s not exactly noodles, not exactly rice. So it really gives a different, welcomed texture.
We ate this in the midst of the polar vortex (let’s make a pact to never talk about that again, mmmkay?) and it was so hearty and warming and delicious. We would eat a bite, run outside and play, eat another bite, throw snowballs at each other. Run back inside for more soup, shovel the driveway. Sit on the couch and recover from frostbite, more soup. Despite the fact that it was our survival food during the harshest winter in a few years, it was surprisingly light. Give it a whirl. Lots of couscous, lots of vegetables, lots of flavor. Yum!
- 3 chicken breast, trimmed of fat
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup pearl couscous
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Generously season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake 25 to 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
- While the chicken cooks, melt the butter in a large pot. Add in the garlic and cook 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the celery, carrots and onions and stir to combine. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 7 minutes.
- Add in the stock and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, remove to a cutting board and slice into large chunks. Add the chicken to the pot and return to a boil.
- While it cooks, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter in a sauce pan.
- Add flour and whisk to combine. It should have the consistency of a paste.
- Add to the pot and stir to combine. This will give the soup a bit of richness.
- Stir in cooked couscous and cook an additional two minutes until completely hot throughout. Serve immediately.