Chicken, Italian Sausage and Israeli Couscous Soup

Chicken, Italian Sausage and Israeli Couscous Soup

Cold fall nights invoke the memories of warm soup and cornbread as you watch the late afternoon football game on Sunday and try not to think about Monday.   Soup in itself is just an interesting dish.  There are so many variations and recipes can change every time you make it.  Many times it just depends on what is available in the ‘fridge.  Some leftover meat?  Check.  Carrots, onions and potatoes? Check.  Noodles or rice?  Check.  Now you are ready to go!

Now, I have a thing with soups and stews.  There are certain vegetables that I just am not that fond of. I will just say I am not a big fan of English peas and Lima Beans.  In fact there is a family story that where I was trying to make a point with my eldest daughter that involves finishing your dinner, Lima Beans and my gag-reflex.  Nope, not a fan of the Lima Beans.  I know, it is a childish but I will go out of my way to avoid the peas and Limas in soups or even hidden inside Chicken Pot Pie.

Tonya put together one of the best soups (in my humble opinion) we have had in quite a while.  She was inspired by a dish that was being sampled at a local grocery store and in her ‘Tonya way’ took the basic idea and created a completely new soup by expanding on the ingredients.  In fact, what the store was demonstrating wasn’t even a soup but more like a ‘combination dinner’ using chicken and sausage.

Here are the basics ingredients:  Chicken breasts, ground Italian sausage and…wait for it…toasted Israeli Couscous.  I know. I didn’t know Israelis had their own couscous either!  The Israeli couscous is typically larger than your run-of-the-mill couscous. I guess if Italians can have their own sausage then Israelis can have their own couscous.

The chicken is cooked on the stove in a pot with seasonings and the sausage is browned in a pan.  Now throw it all in a pot and add liquid….Just Kidding!!

Chicken, Italian Sausage and Israeli Couscous Soup

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2-3 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, boiled with salt & pepper, cooled, chopped and save broth.040

1 lb Italian sausage, browned and crumbled.

1 small bag toasted Israeli Couscous.

1 small onion, diced.

3-4 cloves garlic, diced.

1 cup of cooked and diced parsnip (optional).

1 bay leaf.

1 Tsp of dried basil.

1 tsp of oregano.

Salt & pepper to taste.

Saute the onions and garlic in a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot until tender.  Pour in at least 4 cups of chicken broth (from when you boiled the chicken, remember?) to the pot containing the garlic and onions. Add the chopped cooked chicken, crumbly Italian sausage and seasonings to the same pot.  (Oh yeah, and guess what else made a surprise appearance in the soup….Parsnips!!!  Seriously, we still had some left from a previous recipe so Tonya added them to the soup.  Good old root veggies, they are popping up everywhere!)

Bring all of this to a boil, then add the Israeli couscous.  Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the couscous is done.  That’s about it.  Remove the bay leaf and if the soup is too thick you can always add more chicken broth.  If parsnips are not your thing then try carrots or celery instead.

As for the taste, my youngest daughter said it reminded her of Italian Wedding Soup. I like to crumble some warm cornbread muffins in the soup. The muffins are not necessary but always welcome!  The Italian sausage 016added a tinge of spiciness and the couscous expands so the combination creates a “party in your mouth!”  Quite a delicious and hearty soup savored on a cool autumn afternoon, especially with a Big Muddy Pale Ale out of Murphysboro, IL that is a mixture of spicy and sweet and washes down well!



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