Couscous Paella Soup

Couscous Paella Soup

1 Review
From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2012

This soup is inspired by the flavors and ingredients of paella, but unlike paella it's simple enough for a speedy weeknight dinner. If you can't find Spanish chorizo, use pepperoni (add a pinch of smoked paprika if you have it). Serve with warm whole-grain garlic bread.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced red bell pepper
  • ⅓ cup diced onion
  • ⅓ cup finely diced Spanish chorizo (see Tips) or pepperoni
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces chicken tenders, diced
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Large pinch of saffron (optional, see Tips)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅔ cup whole-wheat couscous
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)


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  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, chorizo (or pepperoni) and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, broth, peas, saffron (if using), salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. To serve, mound about ½ cup couscous in each of 4 wide, shallow bowls. Ladle the soup around the couscous and sprinkle with cilantro, if using.
  • Tips: Chorizo, a spicy pork sausage seasoned with paprika and chile, is originally from Spain and is often used in Mexican cooking. Chorizo can be made with raw or smoked, ground or chopped pork. Chorizo is available at well-stocked supermarkets, specialty food stores or online at
  • The dried stigma from the Crocus sativus flower, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Each crocus produces only 3 stigma, requiring over 75,000 flowers for each pound of saffron. It's used sparingly to add golden yellow color and flavor to a wide variety of Middle Eastern, African and European dishes. Find it in the specialty-herb section of large supermarkets and gourmet-food shops and online at Wrapped in foil and placed in an airtight container, it will keep in a cool, dry place for several years.

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 288 calories; 9 g fat(2 g sat); 6 g fiber; 31 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 30 mcg folate; 39 mg cholesterol; 3 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 944 IU vitamin A; 28 mg vitamin C; 33 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 856 mg sodium; 421 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (47% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2
  • Exchanges: 1½ starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 1

March 10, 2013
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By: mandres268
delicious! we added shrimp to this and, instead of couscous to keep it gluten free, we added cooked brown rice right to the soup. the saffron makes this dish, so the only con is being sure to have this unique spice on hand. will make again!! Pros: quick and easy
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