Moroccan Chicken Soup

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I had one last butternut squash in the kitchen waiting to be used and this soup had been calling my name for a while. The flavor is warm and inviting, perfect for a cold wintry day, and the soup is easy to put together and easy on the budget using widely available ingredients.  The recipe comes from one of my favorite everyday cookbooks, The Essential EatingWell Cookbook, which is full of healthy and mostly easy-to-prepare meals.

The original recipe calls for red bell pepper, but since peppers aren’t in season and are horribly expensive right now, I used mushrooms instead. If you have any peppers left from the summer garden in your freezer, those would work well, too.

[Updated October 3, 2010.]

Adapted from The Essential EatingWell Cookbook. [review]

Moroccan Chicken Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Adapted from The Essential EatingWell Cookbook
Serves: 6 servings
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 16 ounces (454 g) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cups (~1.4 liters) homemade chicken stock or reduced-sodium broth
  • 6 ounces (~170 g) peeled diced butternut squash
  • 4 ounces (113 g) white mushrooms, diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (or parsley)
  1. Combine the paprika, cumin, and coriander. Place cut chicken strips in the medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture.
  2. Heat the olive oil in the pot over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the saffron, cayenne, cinnamon stick, and the rest of the spice mixture. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  4. Add the broth, squash, and the chicken. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  5. Add the mushrooms and carrot and simmer until the vegetables are tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick. Stir in the lemon juice. Ladle the soup into bowl and garnish with the mint.
More Information

medium bowl
large pot with lid


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  1. says

    Andrea, this looks and sounds wonderful. I, too, have a lonely butternut squash sitting on the counter, may have to try this out. I love all the seasonings that are in this recipe!

    On a side note .. how are you?

  2. Judi says

    Sorry some how I have missed it? How much of the bell pepper do you put in and how is it cut? Also you mentioned adding the carrot and zucchini but in the ingredients list I didn’t see the zucchini. How much do you add of this and is this grated like the carrot? This looks sooo yummy I want to make sure I have it right. :) Thank you

    • says

      Hi Judi. The bell pepper and zucchini were typos on my part. The original recipe calls for one red bell pepper and one zucchini, but I didn’t use those because they aren’t in season. If you want to add them, just seed and dice the bell pepper and grate the zucchini.

  3. Savvy says

    Thanks for the update!First found recipe in 98 (pub)- not sure where as I’ve kept ‘stretching’ my sources over the years.

    I live in the Rockies and play ‘outdoors’ year around, so ‘homemade’ SOUP is a FREQUENT and easy choice for dinner!


  1. […] Moroccan Chicken: Ingredients include sweet paprika, ground cumin, ground coriander, boneless, skinless chicken breast, olive oil, chopped onions, minced garlic, saffron threads (optional), cayenne pepper, cinnamon stick, chicken stock, butternut squash, white mushrooms, grated carrots, lemon juice, fresh mint or parsley. From Andrea Meyers. […]

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