Have you ever eaten something that makes you feel SO comforted? That’s what this sausage and pearl couscous soup did for me! It’s a great weeknight dinner recipe, best of all it’s a one-pot recipe!
I’m a huge fan of this dish because of just how EASY it is to make! You only need a few ingredients and about 40 minutes and one pot. That’s it! It’s flavorful and so, so tasty and comforting.
All you need for this recipe is the following:
- Sausage, loose hot or sweet Italian
- Aromatics, including fennel, onion, and celery
- Spices, including garlic and dry thyme
- Pearl couscous, or another small pasta like ditalini or acini de pepe
- Liquid, water or chicken stock
Need to make substitutions for this one-pot recipe? Read on!
Like any good fast, weeknight dinner recipe, customizability is key! Here are some quick substitutions you can make:
- Sausage: Try it with ground chicken, pork, turkey, beef, or plant-based protein.
- Aromatics: Mix and match depending on what you have! Add carrots or even sweet potato for a slightly different flavor profile.
- Spices: Try it with rosemary or even herbes de Provence or your favorite Italian spice blend!
- Pearl couscous: This can be replaced with your favorite small pasta shape, as noted below. You can also make it with pearl barley or farro, but you’ll need to increase the cooking time!
How to make this sausage and pearl couscous soup:
First, start by frying the sausage. Remov it from the pot and then add the aromatics–fennel, celery, and onion–and cook until softened.
Next, add the spices and cook until just fragrant. From there, add the pearl couscous and return the sausage to the pot. Add your liquid, bring to a boil, and then cook for 15 minutes until the couscous is al dente. It’s literally that easy which is why I love this recipe so much!
Sausage and Pearl Couscous Soup
- Wide pot
- 1 teaspoon neutral oil
- 1 pound hot Italian sausage casings removed
- 1 fennel bulb cored and sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 3 ribs celery trimmed and diced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic scapes or use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup pearl couscous
- 6 cups water or chicken stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the sausage:
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks for 10–15 minutes until nearly completely cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of rendered fat in the pot.
Cook the aromatics:
- Turn the heat on the pot to medium. Add the fennel, onion, and celery and cook for 7–8 minutes until softened and charred around the edges. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter into the aromatics. Once melted, add the thyme and garlic scapes (or powder) to the aromatics and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
Simmer the pearl couscous:
- Add the pearl couscous to the pot along with the cooked sausage. Pour in the water or stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the pearl couscous is al dente—taste and season once more to your preferences.
- Ladle the soup into bowls. Garnish with fennel fronds and microgreens or minced parsley, if you like. Enjoy!