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!
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.