Leap Day Soup

I concluded that with today being Leap Day in this Leap Year I should take full advantage of it and write one last post featuring “soup”.  Ah, yes soup month has come to an end.

Today’s soup is a Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup.  Somewhat of a departure for me as I have never made anything Moroccan.  I like Moroccan and now I’ll be adding this recipe to my favorites.  It’s chock full of healthy veggies and the fragrance of cinnamon and cumin pulled me over to the pot to take a little whiff.  Quickly made and full of sweet and savory flavors, it’s the perfect way to end Leap Day.

While it simmered I closed my eyes and thought of the marketplaces in Morocco with all their colorful stalls brimming with baskets full of spices and herbs, colorful rugs and fabrics.  I’ve never visited there but I can imagine.

I have visited my bees yards this week.  I needed to feed the 4 smallest hives.  It was the right choice to begin feeding, as the Hive Latifa, where a black queen resides, somewhat of a rarity, has now began to show proof of capped brood.  It is a small colony and now their chance of growing this spring has greatly improved.  Hive Leona, next to Latifa is also small and I’m not sure of the presence of a queen in there.  Time will tell…It’s a joy to walk through the yard or down the street and encounter bees busy in daffodils, clover and fruit trees. Ahhhh, it feels like spring.  Word has it that this year will be a banner year for honey production and harvest.  I can’t wait!

Honey Bee coming in for a landing on a peach blossom


Steamy bowl of Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup

1 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8-1/4 tsp. red pepper
3 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
2 tbsp. no-salt tomato paste
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup uncooked couscous
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced into small pieces
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil ( my local grocery was out – I used dried)
2 tsp. 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, stirring to brown on all sides.  Add cumin, cinnamon, and pepper to pan; cook 1 minute stirring constantly. Add squash and tomato paste; cook 1 minutes.  Stir in chicken broth, scraping pan to loosen any 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 and stir in orange rind and basil.

About The Orange Bee

Food Blogger - Bee Keeper - Mom - Wife - Lover of Life
This entry was posted in Chicken, Easy, Moroccan Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup, Soup & Stew and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Leap Day Soup

  1. Pingback: 2012 – A Look Back | The Orange Bee

  2. Caroline says:

    This soup sounds fantastic! I’m definitely going to have to try it as well. 🙂

  3. Karen says:

    Sounds delicious…very similar to the Moroccan chicken stew that I make. Love the blossoms. Our orchard doesn’t usually start blooming until Mother’s Day.

  4. This is a beautiful recipe, I think I will tweet it! Moroccan food is gorgeous, I got a fabulous recipe for Moroccan tagine when I travelled there a few years ago, it is always a big hit at dinner!

  5. OK, that’s it. You tequila-drinking lady and queen bee are the world’s best soup maker!

  6. rantingchef says:

    Sounds great! I’ll have to try it.

  7. Ryan says:

    Happy Leap Day! This soup sounds so good with the combination of cumin and cinnamon! So perfect for a winter day. I love to find good soup recipes so I need to try this one! After looking at your pictures I’m so ready for spring. 🙂

    • Hey Ryan – nice to see you! It’s incredibly springlike here today and has been. I can wear flip flops already! Ole’ man winter could rear his ugly head again – but I hope not. I’m ready for spring too and so are the bees.

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