Yummy Couscous Soup

It was kind of chilly out today and all these people at work are coming down with colds, stomach viruses and such. I'm trying to stay well enough to be able to take my first flu shot this week. One thought that ran across my mind at work was that I wanted some good soup. Something warm and flavorful. Notice I didn't say spicy, but flavorful.

I remembered one of Heidi Swanson's 10-minute couscous soups that I saw the other day and decided to make my own version of that. You know I've got to change it up a little?

Here's my version (and my apologies for not really measuring):

olive oil
grated carrots
a stalk of diced celery
1/2 box of frozen leaf spinach (fresh would be even better)
some quick cook barley
1/2 cup of couscous (I used the original, plain version)
garlic powder
sliced green onion (optional)
crushed red pepper (homegrown and dried, oh my!)
chicken stock or broth (I used Rachel Ray's chicken stock - it had less sodium)

Heat olive oil in a sauce pot. Sauté the celery and carrots. Add the chicken stock and crushed red pepper. Bring to a boil. Then add the spinach and barley. Season with a little garlic powder (if desired). After about 5 minutes, remove the sauce pot from the stove. Stir in the couscous. Cover for 5 minutes. Stir and then ladle into bowls. You can top the soup with chopped green onions, roasted red bell peppers, or cheese. Voila!

I enjoyed this soup. It was accompanied by a slice of garlic bread. This soup was indeed flavorful with a little kick from that crushed red pepper, but not spicy hot. I'll definitely make this again.



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