My kids crack me up. Yes, there are times when I have had enough, and I just snap, but sometimes the things they say are just too much. Last month when we were with my father-in-law, my youngest was playing a guessing game with him. She wanted him to guess the person she was thinking of – he happens to be a very famous person, with a very big job. She said, “His first name begins with a B, and his last name begins with a B.” At first we thought we knew who it was, but when she told us the last name began with a B, we were all stumped. After a few more clues, we were sure she was talking about the President. We asked, “Are you sure his last name begins with a B?” She said, “Yes, Barack0 Bama.” I swear I could not stop crying, I was laughing so hard.
Now back to food…I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, and I knew it would be risky. Squash is not a fan favorite among the little people of the house. I decided I wasn’t going to let that stop me though. If it was tasty enough, they would love it. I happened to make it one night when my older one was not home for dinner – which sometimes helps my younger one to be more adventurous. I served the soup, and my husband and I loved it. It had a really nice tomato flavor, and chock full of stuff – chicken, squash and couscous – with this lovely cinnamon flavor. It was even better than I imagined. Then came the moment I was waiting for – she was all excited to have soup for dinner, and took a bite, and actually went in for another. After a few bites she said, “Mommy, I wouldn’t say I hate this.” Well, that is better than the alternative. She didn’t eat a ton of the squash, but managed to eat around it and got lots of chicken, couscous, and soup. At least we avoided the cold cuts…success!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 3 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
- 2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
- 4 cups Chicken Stock or fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup uncooked couscous
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
- 2 teaspoons grated orange rind
Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken; cook for 4 minutes, browning on all sides. Add cumin, cinnamon, and pepper to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add butternut squash and tomato paste; cook 1 minute. Stir in Chicken Stock, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes. Stir in couscous, salt, and zucchini; cook 5 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove pan from heat. Stir in chopped basil and orange rind.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup