Lebanese Chicken and Couscous Soup (Moghrabieh Soup)

Lebanese couscous soup with chicken, vegetables, and exotic spices.
Lebanese Chicken and Couscous Soup (Moghrabieh Soup)

Lebanese Chicken and Couscous Soup (Moghrabieh  Soup)

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

It’s #SoupSwappers time again and this month’s theme is “Spring has sprung!”

I was trying to think of something springlike and at first was interested in doing a kind of Greek avgolemono,  since it seems perfect for early Spring (around Easter). It kind of morphed from there when instead of finding the pastina in my pantry I was looking for, I came across a package of Lebanese couscous I had not used up. And from there it morphed into a soup version of Moghrabieh, which is a Lebanese dish using the large couscous with  chicken. The couscous is  still a pasta, but it is  different from the ordinary couscous or even Israeli couscous.  The Lebanese version is the largest of them all.

And you can use the Israeli, just check to make sure you don’t overcook it. I wouldn’t recommend the tiny couscous as it would likely be mushy and unpleasant.
Lebanese Chicken and Couscous Soup (Moghrabieh Soup)

I did a poach on the chicken and kept the braising liquid so I would not lose flavor. The broth does need a little skimming, and then a strain after that to keep it more clear. It won’t be as clear as an Asian broth due to the spices and the couscous, but it is fairly clear.

I used a Lebanese 7-Spice in this (Ziyad), and if you can’t locate that, it does contain allspice, ground cardamom, black pepper, ground nutmeg, ground clove, ground cinnamon and ground ginger. Trying to get all seven ingredients to show up online can be a bit sketchy. And those should be in descending order of amounts, according to label rules. But you can buy it on Amazon.
Lebanese Chicken and Couscous Soup (Moghrabieh Soup)
Don’t forget to scroll down past the recipe print to see the link button to all the #SoupSwapper recipes.

Lebanese Chicken and Couscous Soup (Moghrabieh Soup)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Lebanese Chicken and Couscous Soup (Moghrabieh Soup)

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (4-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon 7 spice blend
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup Lebanese (large) couscous (not Israeli or small couscous)
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley


  1. Place whole boneless chicken in a pan with the bay leaves, coarsely chopped carrot and onion, cinnamon stick, salt, black peppercorns, and water.
  2. Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until it is cooked through, skimming off any scum from the poaching water.
  3. Remove  the chicken, carrots and onion and strain the broth.
  4. Place the strained broth back into a pan with chopped chicken and vegetable (chop the veggies to the size you like).
  5. Also add the 7 spice blend, pepper, paprika, chicken broth, lemon juice, and the Lebanese couscous.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the couscous is tender.
  7. Stir in the parsley just before serving.

Note: leftovers thicken up a lot (as pasta generally does). Just add more broth or water when reheating to control consistency.

From the kitchen of palatablepastime.com


Spring Has Spring!

Be sure to check out the other Soup Saturday Swappers Bloggers this month!

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Lebanese Chicken and Couscous Soup (Moghrabieh Soup)

6 responses

  1. Beautiful bowl of soup! I have never used Lebanese couscous in soup, and it seems like a fantastic choice…

    thanks for the inspiration!

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