Chicken Coconut Soup with Couscous and Cilantro

Chicken Coconut Soup with Couscous and Cilantro

Coconut and cilantro are two of my favorite flavors ever, and they complement each other amazingly well so I wanted to cook up something that brought these two awesome tastes together. This recipe was inspired by the fish stews of the Bahia region of eastern Brazil. My wife does not like seafood but loves her soups thick, so I replaced fins with feathers and added couscous for a trans-African-Brazilian taste. Bahia residents maintain strong culinary ties with Africa, from the regrettable days of slavery, and that is reflected here in the use of palm oil and coconut milk. Palm oil is available at many health food stores and better grocers, at African and/or South American markets or on the web. You could make this dish extra fiery by substituting a habanero pepper for the jalapeno. This soup has a deliciously bright citrus tang and a blast of fresh flavor from the cilantro. One cup of couscous makes this a pretty substantial brew – perfect for winter. You could easily use 1/2 cup couscous for a thinner soup with equally excellent results.




2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced fine
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 quart chicken broth
1 & ¼ pounds boneless chicken thighs
1 cup coconut milk
½-half bunch cilantro, chopped
1 cup couscous
2 tablespoons palm oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
Salt to taste
¼ cup roasted peanuts, crushed into pieces with a mortar and pestle or flat blade of kitchen knife

How to make Chicken Coconut Soup with Cilantro

In a Dutch oven or soup pot heat the coconut oil over medium heat

Heat Coconut Oil


Stir in the chicken, onion and celery and cook about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent

Add chicken, onions and celery


Cook until vegetables are translucent


Add the jalapeno pepper, garlic and tomato and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more, stirring frequently and increase heat to high

Add tomatoes, garlic and jalapeno


Add the palm oil and pour in the chicken broth

Stir in palm oil and broth


Add chicken broth


Bring the mixture to a boil; then reduce heat to simmer

Bring everything to a boil


Continue simmering for 15 minutes and add couscous

Stir in couscous


Let cook for 10 minutes, until couscous grains become soft and fluffy

Couscous grains become fluffy


Pour in the coconut milk, add half the cilantro and let simmer for another 5 minutes

Add cilantro


Stir cilantro into soup


Stir until blended


Stir in the lime juice and taste for seasoning, adding salt as desired

Pour in lime juice


Serve topped with additional chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice and a few roasted peanut pieces

Crush peanuts in mortar and pestle


Top with more cilantro,lime juice and peanuts


If you like it spicy, add a splash of hot sauce – it’s all good!

Spice it up with a splash of hot sauce










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