Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lemony White Bean & Pearled Couscous Soup: Quick & Satisfying for Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays

This Lemony White Bean & Pearled Couscous Soup came from the desire to use up part of the bags of Israeli or pearl couscous I bought on a closeout sale. I wanted some spring flavors, so lemon, baby fennel, lemon thyme, and some locally grown chervil (an herb I almost never stumble across) joined the party. I added beans for satisfaction and protein--mixing canned chickpeas and small white beans to vary the texture. Finally, a quick purging of the fridge veggie drawer yielded carrot, celery and part of a small bunch of kale. Put together, it was a fairly quick to make soup that is satisfying and wonderful in its simplicity. A little spring kitchen magic in a bowl.  

This is a pantry use-it-up soup so you could certainly adjust the ingredients to fit what you have on hand. For example, I had lemon thyme and chervil and the remains of a small bunch of kale I wanted to use up so I tossed them in. A can of low-sodium garbanzo beans plus a can of navy beans were mixed together and I went heavy on the peal couscous. If you wanted a gluten free soup, you could replace the couscous with quinoa or a gluten free pasta, or even some rice cauliflower would be nice. Adjust the fresh lemon juice to your taste preferences. 

Lemony White Bean & Pearled Couscous Soup
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 4)

! Tbsp olive oil
1 sweet or yellow onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (I used lemon thyme)
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
3 cups cooked white beans
1 heaping cup Israeli / pearl couscous
2 cups kale, center stems removed and leaves cut into very thin shreds
juice of 1 lemon or to taste
salt and pepper to taste
garnish with fresh parsley or chervil, and a bit of chopped fennel frond. 

In a large , saute onion, carrots, celery, and fennel in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add garlic and saute another about 5 more minutes. Add the bay leaves, thyme, and vegetable stock, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are almost. soft.

Bring broth back to a low boil and add beans, pearl couscous and kale. Cook about 10 minutes, until couscous is cooked and kale is tender. Stir in fresh lemon juice and season to taste with salt and black pepper. Enjoy!

Notes/Results: Just  a great little soup--good soft lemony flavor, filling without being heavy and pleasing in that everything is bite-sized and easy to spoon up. As mentioned, I went a little heavy on the pearl couscous but I like how it absorbs the broth and thickens the soup to make it more of a meal. If you don't like a stew-like soup, you can add extra broth and/or reduce the amount of couscous down to 1/2 or 3/4 cup. If you don't care whether it is vegan or dairy-free, a little grated Parmesan or even Greek Myzithera would be lovely grated on the top. Serve with a piece of toast topped with hummus or avocado 
if you like. I would happily make this again.

Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog is here with Lebanese Roasted Eggplant Salad and says, "Roasted tangy eggplant salads, like this one, have been popular in Middle Eastern countries for centuries. I think they taste fabulous, are easy to make AND are really healthy too. This recipe is actually my cousin Elaine's recipe who is an experienced and authentic Middle Eastern cook. She invited us for brunch and served a number of memorable dishes. Although everything was very good, her tangy roasted eggplant was my favorite. Mixed with lemon, garlic, and other herbs and spices, the eggplant salad was superb."

Thanks to Judee for joining me this this week. If you have a soup, salad, or sandwich that you would like to share, just click on the Souper Sundays logo on the sidebar for all of the details.

Have a happy, healthy week!    


  1. This is my kind of soup, made from whatever is on hand.

  2. Love all the bits of this and that that ended up in your soup!


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