Brazilian Chicken Paprika Stew

I’ve always found it fascinating to see how people all over the world come up with similar foods (blintzes, crepes, tortillas). Or people take a dish from one country and then mix it up and change it to suit local tastes in a different country.  Brazilian chicken paprika stew is one of the latter. It’s a Brazilian take on Hungarian chicken paprikash.  The sour cream is gone, replaced with beans and sausage. I discovered this dish when I went to look for something to make with some extra beans, chicken, and half a lime. It’s a thick, rich, comforting stew, and not at all spicy. And it only requires one pot to make! I’m always in favor of less cleanup.

The original recipe was for 6 or 8 servings, which is way too many for one person, so I reduced it.  It also called for both chicken breasts and boneless thighs, but I much prefer the thighs, so I skipped the breasts entirely. I only had bone-in thighs, so I just cut them up and left the bones in to cook. Yes, I took them out for the photo! They’ll turn into more chicken broth later.

I used spicy chicken sausage for this, but mild is fine if you prefer less spicy food.

I served this with crusty super-easy single loaf Kitchenaid bread, but rice works too. Or whatever starch you like: potatoes, noodles, etc. to sop up the sauce.

One thing on the paprika, it turns stale pretty quickly, so use a fresh jar/box or buy it in a spice store if you can.

Brazilian Chicken Paprika Stew

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Category: Dinner Recipes for One Person

Cuisine: Brazilian

2-3 bowls

Brazilian chicken paprika stew


  • 2 chicken thighs, cut into chunks (about one inch)
  • 1 chicken sausage, sliced
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 T canola or other neutral oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced,
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 C chicken broth
  • Generous pinch dried thyme, or about 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 C canned white beans
  • 1 tsp flour


  1. Toss the chicken and the sausage in a bowl to combine them. Add the lime juice and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Add half the oil to a Dutch oven or medium size saucepan. Heat on medium high, then add the meat mixture. Brown the meat, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes. Once it’s browned, remove it from the pot and set aside while you go on to the next step.
  3. Lower the heat to medium, add the rest of the oil, and let that heat up. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and onions. Sauté the vegetables until they wilt, about three minutes. Add the paprika and tomato paste and stir to incorporate the tomato into the vegetables.
  4. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, and thyme, and bring to a boil. Once it boils, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove a tablespoon of broth into a small ramekin or bowl and add the flour. Stir that together and put in the stew pot. Now add the beans and cook another 10 minutes to heat them through and thicken the broth. Remove the bay leaf and serve.


You can eat this with rice or crusty bread. I went with homemade bread.

Brazilian Chicken Paprika Stew Substitutions and Variations

  • try it with lemon juice instead of lime
  • add some chopped peanuts and ginger
  • add some mild pepper, like poplano, either fresh or dried (ancho chili)
  •  substitute smoky paprika for extra depth of flavor

More Chicken and Bean Recipes

moroccan bean and chicken soupMoroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Based on a Jewish version of harira,  this savory soup is traditionally made with lamb and lentils. I switched it up with chicken and beans, then flavored it with sharp/sweet ginger and turmeric.

pasta e fagioli soupPasta e Fagioli Soup (Small Batch)

Hearty, fragrant with aromatics, and elevated out of the ordinary by salty, smoky pancetta.  Perfect for a cold day (bonus: it heats your home too).


white bean salad sun dried tomatoesWhite Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

A fancy bean and sun-dried tomato salad, at a fraction of the price.  Healthy, tasty, and no cooking required either.



Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad Recipe for One

Tuna cannellini bean salad is a great meal for those days when you just don’t feel like “cooking.” Maybe you got home late from work, or you’ve been out running errands all day, or it’s just too hot to fuss.  This meal requires nothing more complicated than opening a few cans, sprinkling some seasonings, and a little bit of chopping. Easy.

Everything comes straight from your pantry.  The beans are canned, the tuna is canned, and the only fresh ingredient you need is some scallions, and maybe the lemon juice. Even that isn’t essential; if you don’t have scallions, use onion instead.  If you’re out of fresh lemons, the bottled juice will do just fine.

If you do have the time and energy, this is a bit better with freshly cooked beans. The canned beans tend to be slightly mushy, and sometimes they’re a little salty.   If you go the dried bean route, use my quick soak method to speed things up.  If not, no harm, no foul.

The recipe is enough for two lunches or one dinner (depending  how hungry you are).  I usually find that I eat a whole 5 oz. can of tuna for lunch if I just make ordinary tuna salad, but adding the beans stretches it enough for two meals.

I’ve adapted it slightly from one of  Pierre Franey’s Sixty Minute Gourmet cookbooks. I reduced the quantity and eliminated the parsley (never had any use for parsley). This is not only better than sixty minutes, it only takes about ten.

Serve with some fresh fruit and you have a fast lunch in under fifteen minutes.  Add crusty bread to that and you have dinner.

Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad

Category: lunch

Cuisine: Meditteranean


tuna cannellini bean salad


  • 1/2 15 oz. can cannellini (white kidney) beans
  • 1 small scallion, chopped (or about 1 T chopped onion)
  • one small garlic clove, minced
  • pinch dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1T olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 5 oz can tuna


  1. Drain the beans and pour them into a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (except the tuna).
  3. Drain the oil from the tuna, add it to the bowl and break it apart with a fork.
  4. Take a fork and spoon and toss everything together to combine the ingredients.

Tuna Cannellini Bean Salad Substitutions and Variations

  • add some capers
  • mix in some cherry tomatoes
  • try red onion instead of the scallions
  • serve over romaine lettuce
  • mix some greens (watercress, arugula, or one of those baby greens mixtures) right into the salad


More Cannellini Bean Recipes

White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Pasta e Fagioli Soup (Small Batch)

I should probably refer to this pasta e fagioli soup as “blizzard soup.” The forecast called for up to 20 inches of snow (though we only got seven).  I was determined to keep the stove going and get a batch of hot soup. Besides, there is more snow coming tomorrow!

Therefore, I deliberately made this the “hard” way.  First, I soaked the beans overnight.  Then I cooked the beans and sort of followed a recipe from The New York Times.  I cut it in  half and added pancetta (don’t know why they left that out).

I even made my own vegetable stock.  If you spot potatoes and carrots in the photo, it’s because they were in the homemade vegetable stock recipe .   Neither one is traditional for pasta e fagioli soup, but I left them in anyway. Why toss perfectly good veggies? I didn’t include them in the recipe here though.

You can use vegetable stock, or chicken stock if you prefer. I would  have made chicken stock but I didn’t have enough chicken bones. And I certainly wasn’t going out to get some in a blizzard!

Don’t be put off by the long prep time on this recipe.  That includes soaking the beans overnight. You can speed this up by using my quick soak method. That cuts the soaking time down from 8 hours to only one.

If you’re really in a hurry, and don’t have the time or patience to soak and cook the beans for an hour or more, use a can of white canellini beans instead. Make the rest of the soup, then add the can of beans.  Just cook them long enough to heat through.

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

Prep Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Total Time: 11 hours, 35 minutes

Category: soup

Cuisine: Italian

three or four servings

pasta e fagioli soup

A small batch of pasta and bean (pasta e fagioli) soup. Just the thing to keep your home (and stomach) warm on a cold day.


  • Beans
  • 1 C dried white beans
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • Soup
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut in half
  • 1 1/2 ounce pancetta (chopped), or you can buy it pre-chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or about 1/3 tsp dried)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup pureed canned tomatoes
  • pinch sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Bouquet garni (bay leaf, 2 Manchego rinds, thyme spring, or 1/4 tsp dried)
  • 1/2 cup elbow macaroni


  1. Beans
  2. Pour the soaked beans, along with the water, into a large pot (a Dutch oven will do nicely).
  3. Add the onion and turn the heat to medium. Bring it to a soft boil (bubbling slowly,).
  4. You may see foam rising to the top. You can remove that with a spoon (it's not harmful, it's just not attractive).
  5. Add the garlic and the bay leaf (you can put the bay leaf in a tea ball so it's easier to remove).
  6. Simmer the beans for 30 minutes.
  7. Add salt to taste and let the beans cook another hour. Check to see that they're soft. If not, cook another half an hour.
  8. Taste the beans and add more salt if needed. Take out the bay leaf. Drain the beans with a colander over a bowl. Keep the broth, you'll use it for the soup.
  9. Soup
  10. Heat oil in dutch oven. Add the onion and cook for five minutes or until the onion softens.
  11. Add the rosemary, garlic, and pancetta.
  12. Cook for a minute. The scent should start to waft through your kitchen.
  13. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt, and pepper
  14. Cook for 5-10 minutes.
  15. Add the bean broth you set aside, and the stock.
  16. Add the bouquet garni, Manchego rinds, and more salt.
  17. Turn the heat to medium-high until the soup boils. Then reduce the heat and let it simmer for half an hour.
  18. Add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, until it's al dente.
  19. Taste and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.
  20. Remove the cheese rinds and serve.


Use dried beans if you have them, and have the time. If not, this works with canned beans too. If you use canned beans, drain the can first. Place the beans, water, and the remaining ingredients from the bean recipe in your pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. Then move on to the rest of the soup.

You can tie the bouquet garni ingredients together (if you use fresh herbs). If not, put them in a tea ball. It makes it easier to remove them.

Substitutions and Variations for Pasta e Fagioli Soup

  • Save time and use canned beans
  • Try different kinds of beans: pinto, kidney, or cranberry
  • Use chicken stock instead of vegetable stock
  • Use bacon or pork fat instead of pancetta (I even used soppressata salami once)
  • Add one potato (cut into chunks) to the soup
  • Chop up a handful of spinach and add that with the pasta

More White Bean and Soup Recipes

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Easy Italian Wedding Soup

White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes


White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

I spotted this white bean salad with sun dried tomatoes when I was shopping.  It sounded delicious: beans, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil, spinach.  Healthy and tasty!

The price was a bit of a turn off though: $8.00 a pound?! For beans?  Nope.  I had dry beans at home, but it was too hot to start cooking them. So, I trotted over to the canned beans section. Instead of $8.00 a pound, I got a whole can of beans for 88 cents (on sale!).  Score!

The rest was easy (and no cooking needed on a hot day).

Just soak the sun dried tomatoes, pour the beans into a bowl, roughly chop the spinach, chop some onion, and let it sit for a while to let the flavor develop.

White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

Category: side dish

Cuisine: American

one generous serving

white bean salad sun dried tomatoes


  • 1/2 can white beans (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 sun-dried tomatoes (soaked in warm water) and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pour the beans into a small bowl.
  2. Add the onions, spinach, tomatoes, vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.
  3. Stir to combine.


This makes one or two servings (depending on if you're eating it as lunch or a side dish). For more flavor, let it sit for an hour. Even better, let it sit overnight in the fridge.

Substitutions and Variations for White Bean Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes

  • Add some olives and mozzarella cheese
  • Substitute fresh basil for the dried oregano
  • Make it a dip: roast some garlic, add that to the salad, and put it in your mini-chopper or blender. Or, do this with the remaining beans.
  • Use different colored beans or several different kinds. Put the rest of the can(s) in soup or chili.

More Bean Recipes

Black Beans and Rice Recipe for One Person

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Small Batch Spicy Stovetop Chili Recipe


Black Beans and Rice Recipe for One Person

A friend’s mom made this black beans and rice recipe for me many years ago on Thanksgiving.  We had the traditional turkey, and also a slow-cooked pork roast that was divine.  The beans were so good I asked her to have her mom send me the recipe.

The great thing about this is that you feel you’re eating something rich and luxurious, even though it’s a “budget” meal.  This particular recipe is also vegetarian.  Of course, if you want, you can add some pork or bacon in with the seasoning mixture and cook that before you combine it all with the beans.

It’s also versatile.  Cook it down more and you have black beans and rice. Cook a bit less and you end up with black bean soup.

The recipe here is portioned to be a substantial main dish for dinner (or two lunches). Or, use it for two side dishes.

There are two ingredients in it that are a bit unusual for black beans and rice (at least unusual to me): balsamic vinegar and port.  You just use a little of each, but it adds an extra depth of flavor which wouldn’t be there otherwise.

I don’t usually have port, so I used brandy instead.

I nearly always get the dried black beans instead of the canned ones. The canned beans tend to have extra salt and additives to “keep them fresh” (which never made sense to me; canned food should last without preservatives). Besides the dried beans are a better value and will last indefinitely.

It does take a bit of time to make this (not so much because of the cooking as because of soaking the dried beans). However,  you can just let them soak overnight or use my quick soak method.  Or, if you’re in a big hurry, use canned beans.  Half the can should do it.

I used leftover rice that I already had.  If you don’t have leftover rice, start the rice while the bean and onion mixture is simmering.

Black Beans and Rice Recipe for One Person

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Cuban

one serving

black beans and rice recipe one person

A delicious, filling, and budget-friendly black beans and rice recipe for one person.


  • 1/2 C dried black beans, soaked overnight
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • generous pinch salt
  • grinding of black pepper
  • pinch of oregano
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 T ketchup (or tomato sauce)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp brandy or port
  • 1 tsp olive oil


  1. Wash and soak the beans overnight.
  2. Drain the beans, put them in a medium size saucepan, add a cup of water and cook until soft (about one hour).
  3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and saute the onions for five minutes until soft. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, tomato sauce (or ketchup), oregano, bay leaf, and sugar.
  4. Cook the mixture on a low flame for 5-10 minutes until soft.
  5. Add the onion mixture to the pot with the beans.
  6. If you don't have leftover rice, start it now.
  7. Add the balsamic vinegar and simmer on medium low until thick for beans and rice, or cooked through for soup.
  8. Before serving, add the port, additional olive oil, and salt/pepper or sugar to taste.
  9. Top with bell pepper slices.

Substitutions and Variations for Black Beans and Rice Recipe for One Person

  • Use brandy instead of port
  • If you don’t feel like opening an entire can of tomato sauce to use a small amount, use ketchup (add a little more water)
  • Add 1/4 pound pork stew to the onion mixture (when you start it)
  • Try some pork fat or bacon or a ham hock
  • For more kick, add some cumin or cayenne

Ingredients and Tools for Black Beans and Rice Recipe for One

Lundberg Organic Rice

The reports of arsenic in standard rice make me a bit nervous. Also, this rice is just delicious. It isn’t jasmine rice (though they have that too), but it tastes like it. And it’s not expensive either. Actually, sometimes the bags of regular rice in the store cost more!

T-fal Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker, 4-Quart

If you’ve got the space for it, a pressure cooker will make preparing beans a whole lot faster (it’s also good for split pea soup). Pressure cookers used to be tricky to use (my grandpa made a terrible mess once when he opened it too soon – pea soup everywhere!), but they’ve gotten a lot easier. The pressure gauge on this one is marked for high or low pressure, steam release, and off. If you forget to soak your beans you can cook them with this in about 20 minutes, instead of an hour, plus the waiting time. It’s also dishwasher-safe.

Small Batch Spicy Stovetop Chili Recipe

I have been making my spicy stovetop chili recipe the same way for years — until recently. There was a blizzard raging outside and I figured chili would keep me (and the apartment warm).  The recipe has evolved since I first started making it, but I’ve been consistently using kidney beans, green and red bell peppers and threw in some chopped jalapeños and a couple of spoonfuls of salsa.

However, I didn’t have any of those ingredients on hand and had no intention of going outside to get them! So, I improvised.  Instead of kidney beans I used cooked small white beans (which I had leftover from making this delicious garlicky bean dip).  If you don’t have cooked beans ready, use this quick soaking method to speed up the process, or just use half a can.

That solved the bean problem, but there was still the question of adding more heat.  I did have plenty of sriracha sauce and ground cayenne, so I used that and added a pinch of cinnamon to balance it out.

The chili came out so well I think I may make it this way going forward.  Less chopping!

This makes about three or four servings.  You can make it for company, eat it several times in one week, or freeze individual portions for later use.

Spicy Stovetop Chili Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Category: entree

Cuisine: Tex-Mex

four servings

spicy stovetop chili recipe

Spicy stovetop chili you can have ready in a little over an hour.


  • 2T vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb grass-fed beef*
  • 1/2 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1T chili powder
  • 1/2 cup white beans (soaked and cooked), or about 1/2 can
  • 2 squirts sriracha sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1 generous pinch cayenne powder
  • 1 generous pinch ground cinnamon


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onions and cook on low heat until soft.
  2. Add the garlic. Cook stirring for a minute or two.
  3. Add the meat and brown, stirring so it browns evenly.
  4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and the beans. Add the sriracha and the spices.
  5. Simmer on low heat about 60 minutes.
  6. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  7. Serve in bowls, and top with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.


*I used grass-fed beef because I think it tastes better. If you can't get it, or you disagree, use the regular kind.

Also, if the tomatoes are a bit sour, add a pinch of sugar.

Substitutions and Variations for Spicy Stovetop Chili Recipe

  • use kidney beans instead of white beans
  • replace the sriracha with Tabasco sauce
  • add a teaspoon or two of salsa
  • add jalapeño peppers to taste
  • add about 1/4 each red and green bell pepper about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time (so they keep a bit of crunch)
  • use 2/3 pound beef and 1/3 lb. pork

Calphalon Stainless Steel Dutch Oven, 5-quart
Dutch ovens are great for chili, for large pots of pasta (or pasta sauce). They can be used on the stove or in the oven for baking. This one has a glass lid (which I like because you can see if the water is boiling without getting a facefull of steam. It also has measuring lines (to make it easy to tell how much water or food you’ve added, as well as a built-in colander (handy for pouring out the water when you make pasta).

The Chili Cookbook
If you really love chili, and are willing to be creative with it, this is a great resource. It’s got chili with ingredients you might not normally associate with chili, as well as lots of classics. There’s different sorts of beans (or no beans at all), vegetarian options, even one with lobster and corn! There are also recipes for huevos rancheros and even instructions on making your own chorizo. I better stop now, I’m about to start drooling over my keyboard.

More Ground Beef Recipes

Compound Butter Cheeseburger

Easy Italian Meatball Recipe for One

Sloppy Joe Recipe for One Person

Easy Italian Wedding Soup


Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

I’ve mind melded two lentil soup recipes for this and added a few variations to make lentil bean sausage soup. I was going to make bean and sausage soup but looked in the cupboard and found I was woefully short on beans.  There just weren’t enough to make anything with.  But, I did have more lentils.  And, a friend was talking about the bean, sausage, and potato soup she was making.

That gave me an idea.  Bean, lentil, potato, and sausage, plus a bit of manchego rind for some savor (I’ve always wanted to try that, and I had a big bag of rinds in the fridge).

Manchego, parmesan, and romano cheese rinds are great, by the way, for soup or for grating cheese when there’s plenty left on the rind, but not enough to serve.

The nice thing about lentils is that unlike beans, you don’t have to soak them first to use them.

If you only have lentils, skip the beans entirely.  If you only have beans, use my quick soak method to speed up the process.

Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

Cook Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes

Category: soup

Cuisine: American

two to three servings

lentil bean sausage soup

Lentil bean sausage and potato soup. This is versatile and easy to make.


  • 2T olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced in one inch chunks
  • 1 spicy sausage
  • 3/4 C dried beans, soaked overnight (or use my quick soak method)
  • 1/4 C lentils, rinsed
  • 1 large potato, cut into chunks
  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • slab of manchego or parmesan rind (about 2 inches across)


  1. Heat oil in dutch oven or large saucepan.
  2. Add the vegetables and cook on medium low until they wilt and soften, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the veggies and add the sausage. Cook 8-10 minutes.
  4. Add the lentils and beans to the pot, with water to cover by an inch or so
  5. Put the veggies back in the pot.
  6. Add the potato, the ham hock, bay leaf, thyme, and manchego rind
  7. Add salt and a grinding of pepper to taste
  8. Bring to a boil.
  9. Reduce heat and simmer for two hours.
  10. Discard the bay leaf.
  11. Remove the ham hock. Let it cool for a minute or two. Separate the meat from the fat and bone and return the meat to the pot.
  12. Serve hot.


Put the bay leaf in a tea ball so it's easier to retrieve. I have one that hooks over the edge of the pot.

You can vary this with all beans or all lentils or use bacon instead of sausage.

Ingredients and Tools for Lentil Bean Sausage Soup

2pcs Stainless Steel Mesh Tea Ball Strainer

Tea strainers are great for tea, but they also have a second use for making soup and other recipes.  Many recipes call for cheesecloth (which I’ve never seen in a store, and seems wasteful anyway).  Instead, I use the tea ball for bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves, and herb mixtures that have to be added (and then removed) from soup or other recipes. Because, who wants to bite down into a peppercorn?!

The New York Times Cook Book
This cookbook was the source for part of the recipe. I have had my copy so long it’s falling apart. The soup section includes lentil, split pea, and the savory tomato soup which is the basis for my dad’s secret soup recipe.

The Silver Palate Cookbook
I’m on my second copy of this, and it’s time for a third! The other half of the soup recipe comes from the bean and sausage soup in this cookbook. The peasant vegetable is also wonderful, as is the six onion soup. Actually, I’ve never had a bad recipe from this one. Plus there are suggestions and variations for many of the recipes, which I like.

More Lentil and Bean Soup Recipes

Red Lentil Soup with Carrots

Lamb and Lentil Soup Recipe

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

The first time I made this Moroccan chicken and bean soup it was “surprise soup.” It was a cold day, and I looked around in my fridge, saw beans, chicken, and carrots, and thought, there must be a soup in here someplace!  So, I started paging through my cookbooks.  I found a recipe for harira, which is Moroccan bean and vegetable soup, in The Book of Jewish Food (a wonderful cookbook which is part recipes and part travelogue).  The recipe called for lamb (but I had no lamb in the fridge) and lentils (no lentils in the pantry), but I figured I could adjust it.

I replaced the lamb with chicken and the lentils with white beans.  The carrots, well they had to wait for another day.

I used soaked beans (since I already had them; you can use a can instead, or try my quick soak method to speed up the process.

It’s technically spring as I type this, but at 57 degrees it sure doesn’t feel like it. Time for soup!

Moroccan Chicken and Bean Soup

Cook Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Category: soup

Cuisine: African, Sephardic, Jewish

6 servings

moroccan bean and chicken soup

Moroccan inspired chicken soup with beans and vegetables.


  • 3 T canola oil
  • 1 lb. chicken thighs (about 3 or 4)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 can beans, or 3/4 C dried beans, soaked overnight (or use the quick soak method)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 16 oz can tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • pinch ginger
  • pinch turmeric or saffron
  • 1//4 C flour
  • 2 oz. thin noodles, like vermicelli or angel hair, broken in quarters
  • 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice


  1. Heat 1 T of the canola (or other neutral oil) in a large pot Add the chicken pieces and brown, turning occasionally, for five minutes.
  2. Add the water, and bring the pot to a boil. Remove any scum that rises to the top.
  3. Now add the beans to the pot.
  4. In a separate frying pan, cook the onions in the oil until they brown.
  5. Season the soup with salt and pepper and bring it to a simmer, cooking about 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Add the tomatoes, jalapeno, ginger and turmeric. If the soup boils down too much and gets too thick, add more water to bring it to the right consistency.
  7. Mix the flour with a bit of cold water, to make a paste. Add the flour paste to the soup, stirring so it doesn't clump together. It should thicken the soup and make it "velvety. (think velveting chicken in Chinese cooking). Now add the pasta and simmer it another 15 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Add the coriander and the lemon juice.
  8. If you used bone-in thighs (and you should for more flavor), let the soup cool for a minute or two and pull out the bones.
  9. Pour the soup into bowls and serve, or package into individual portions and freeze.


You can substitute lamb and lentils for the chicken and beans, or switch the pasts with rice.

Tools and Ingredients for this Recipe

Calphalon Classic Stainless Steel Cookware, Dutch Oven, 5-quart

I have a similar pot in a smaller size, but I really lust after the bigger one. Mine also doesn’t have the built-in strainer (which seems very handy). It does have the glass lid, which is great because I can easily see how close the food is to boiling without lifting the lid and getting a face full of steam. It’s great for soup or chili or a big pot of pasta when company is coming.

Frontier Turmeric Root Ground, 1.92-Ounce Bottle
Turmeric is related to ginger and has a warm, peppery flavor. Like ginger, it can be savory or sweet, and can be used in both dinner and dessert recipes. It’s great in soups, on chicken, lamb, or mixed in with scrambled eggs. It’s also an anti-inflammatory.

Quick Soak Beans in an Hour

Waiting for dried beans to soak overnight can be a real pain (especially if you’re hungry).  You can, of course, buy them in cans, but the canned beans often have extra salt and/or preservatives in them.

Luckily, there is a way to speed up the process, which cuts the time from eight hours to only one and change.  Much better!

Quick Soaking Beans

Here’s all you have to do.  Just measure out the amount of beans you need.  Put them in a large saucepan and cover them with water (about an inch or two over the top of the beans).  Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Let the beans boil for two minutes.

Turn off the heat, and allow them to rest for an hour.

They’re now ready to cook.