Couscous Paella Soup for Two This soup recipe for two is inspired by the flavors and ingredients of paella, but unlike paella it’s simple enough for a speedy weeknight dinner. If you can’t find Spanish chorizo, use pepperoni (add a pinch of smoked paprika if you have it). Serve with warm whole-grain garlic bread.

total: 30 mins
Servings: 2


  • 1 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons diced onion
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced Spanish chorizo (see Tips) or pepperoni
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces chicken tenders, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch of saffron (optional; see Tips)
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup whole-wheat couscous
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)


    Step 1

    Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, chorizo (or pepperoni) and garlic and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, broth, peas, salt, pepper and saffron (if using) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

    Step 2

    Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in couscous, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.

    Step 3

    To serve, mound half the couscous in each of 2 wide, shallow bowls. Ladle the soup around the couscous and sprinkle with cilantro (if using).


Tips: Chorizo, a spicy pork sausage seasoned with paprika and chile, is originally from Spain and is often used in Mexican cooking. Chorizo can be made with raw or smoked, ground or chopped pork. Chorizo is available at well-stocked supermarkets, specialty food stores or online at


The dried stigma from the Crocus sativus flower, saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. Each crocus produces only 3 stigma, requiring over 75,000 flowers for each pound of saffron. It’s used sparingly to add golden yellow color and flavor to a wide variety of Middle Eastern, African and European dishes. Find it in the specialty-herb section of large supermarkets and gourmet-food shops and online at Wrapped in foil and placed in an airtight container, it will keep in a cool, dry place for several years.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 289 calories; protein 22.9g; carbohydrates 31g; dietary fiber 5.6g; sugars 3.4g; fat 8.8g; saturated fat 2.2g; cholesterol 39.4mg; vitamin a iu 943.7IU; vitamin c 28mg; folate 30.2mcg; calcium 33.5mg; iron 2.2mg; magnesium 23.4mg; potassium 423.3mg; sodium 862.1mg; thiamin 0.2mg. Exchanges:

1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1 fat


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