Saturday, November 1, 2008

Israeli Couscous Soup

I had a bag of Israeli couscous in my pantry, and finally put it to use, by making Mograbieh, from Anna of Morsels & Musings.

Mograbieh, from what I gather, is the name for Israeli or Lebanese couscous. It's bigger than your "normal" couscous, about 1/4" in diameter.

The recipe was simple - saute garlic and onion, add parboiled couscous and chicken broth, simmer until done, then add herbs, lemon and butter.

One of the called-for herbs was mint. I honestly don't think I've ever cooked with mint before - all I can think of is mint gum, and who wants that in their food? (Turns out I was wrong, and I'm so glad I didn't leave it out! I am still a little miffed, however, that I spent $2 on a stupid plastic package of mint.)

This soup? Wow. Parsley, cilantro, mint, lemon zest and juice, added to the chicken broth, made for an amazing soup. (Hubby drank almost all the broth, Youngest finished it off.)

The couscous, unfortunately, wasn't so great. But I think that's because the bag I had was probably past its shelf life - the centers never really got cooked (little bit crunchy, little bit crumbly), while the outsides were ready to fall apart.

I can't wait to try this again using fresher couscous. I can also see using the broth minus the pasta, with shredded chicken and green onion.

I love soup weather.


Kitt said...

Yum! I love a lemony soup. You should plant some mint in a pot. It's such a vigorous grower, you'll never run out.

As for the couscous, I have made the larger kind, but did the multiple steaming instead of boiling and it turned out really well. Kind of a hassle, though.

Vicki said...

Hey Kitt -
I have this habit of killing anything planted in a pot. But I'm going to take the rest of my $2 pack and plant it. Can't hurt to try.

Betts said...

I was about to say the same thing as Kitt. I'll be surprised if you can kill it. I have to yank some up in my garden every year because it threatens to take over. I picked the last of mine outdoors last weekend and we had a farewell-to-summer mojito. I love mint drinks.

Vicki said...

Hi Betts -
You don't know me very well - I've killed basil, sage, oregano, rosemary. I've even killed a cactus.
I forgot about mint drinks - a mint julep sounds mighty tasty :)

Anonymous said...

Try it with acini di pepe pasta instead of cous cous. Sounds great!

kat said...

I love soup weather too & this one sounds so good, too bad about the cous cous though

Vicki said...

Hi Anon - Acini sounds like a good idea, I'll try it.

Hi Kat - The win for the broth outweighs the loss for the couscous :)

Alecto said...

I need this. Right now. Today. The mint, on the other hand, will eat your yard if you let it. I had to tear up 40 yards one spring. Maybe in a large pot?

Vicki said...

Hi Alecto - It's amazing that there's so much flavor for so little work. I potted my package of mint, we'll see what happens. I wouldn't mind if the mint took over, since I can't grow grass either :)

JUde said...

I've never seen couscous like that before. Thanks for the info! I'll keep an eye out for it.

Vicki said...

Hi Jude -
I found it at a market that carried a lot of Middle Eastern stuff. Shouldn't be hard to find in your (my former) city :)