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Italian chicken and couscous salad with chickpea soup



4 portion(s)

Basil pesto dip dressing

  • 50 g Parmesan cheese, crust removed and cut into cubes (3 cm)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 40 g fresh basil leaves
  • 20 g fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 160 g unsalted cashew nuts
  • 1-2 tbsp white wine vinegar, to taste
  • 110 g extra virgin olive oil
  • 100 g lemon juice (approx. 2 lemons)

Warm chicken salad and chickpea soup

  • 400 g pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes (1 cm)
  • 550 g chicken breast fillet, cut into cubes (2 cm)
  • 160 g couscous, rinsed and drained
  • 150 g dried chickpeas
  • 1 - 1½ tbsp Vegetable stock paste (see Tips)
  • 2 brown onions (approx. 300 g), cut into quarters
  • 20 g olive oil
  • 2 carrots (approx. 240 g), cut into pieces
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 200 g turnip, cut into pieces
  • 1100 g water
  • 60 g pine nuts, toasted or unsalted cashew nuts, toasted
  • 150-200 g fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp pitted black olives, sliced or pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes (1 punnet), cut into halves
  • 5 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
  • ½ tsp sea salt, to taste
  • 2 pinches ground black pepper, to taste
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
    Appliance TM 5 image
    Recipe is created for
    TM 5
    Please note that the TM5 mixing bowl has a larger capacity than the TM31 (capacity of 2.2 liters instead of 2.0 liters for TM 31). Recipes for the Thermomix TM5 may not be cooked with a Thermomix TM31 for safety reasons without adjusting the quantities. Risk of scalding by spraying of hot liquids: Do not exceed the maximum filling quantity and observe the filling level markings of the mixing bowl!

Recipe's preparation

    Chunky basil pesto dip dressing
  1. Place Parmesan and garlic into mixing bowl and grate 10 sec/speed 9. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula.

  2. Add basil, parsley, cashew nuts, vinegar and 60 g of the olive oil and chop Turbo/1 sec/4-5 times, or until a rough but evenly chopped consistency is achieved. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula.

  3. Add lemon juice and remaining 50 g olive oil and mix 5 sec/speed 6. Transfer into a jug and set aside. Clean and dry mixing bowl.

  4. Warm chicken salad and chickpea soup
  5. Place Varoma dish into position then weigh pumpkin and chicken into it. Insert Varoma tray and line with a piece of wet, well-rung baking paper. Weigh couscous onto Varoma tray. Spread couscous evenly over Varoma tray with spatula. Set Varoma aside.

  6. Place chickpeas into mixing bowl and mill 20 sec/speed 9. Transfer into a bowl and set aside.

  7. Place stock paste, onion, oil, carrot, garlic and turnip into mixing bowl and chop 8 sec/speed 5. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl with spatula.

  8. Add water and reserved chickpea flour to mixing bowl. Place a serving bowl onto mixing bowl lid, then weigh pine nuts or cashew nuts and 130-160 g of the spinach into it. Set serving bowl aside. Place Varoma into position and cook 17 min/Varoma/speed 1.

  9. Arrange olives, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and parsley into serving bowl. Set serving bowl aside.

  10. Lightly stir pumpkin and chicken with spatula to ensure even cooking, then secure Varoma lid and cook for a further 7-9 min/Varoma/speed 1, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove Varoma and transfer chicken, pumpkin and couscous into serving bowl. Pour dressing over and stir to combine.

  11. Add salt and pepper to soup in mixing bowl and blend 30 sec/speed 5-9, increasing speed gradually. Place remaining 20-40 g spinach into the bottom of a ThermoServer and pour in soup. Stir to combine and serve soup immediately followed by the salad.


Accessories you need



This recipe is featured in the Cooking with Varoma cooking class. 

TM31 users can create a similar layered Varoma meal by making the Warm chicken pumpkin and couscous salad and Chickpea soup both found on Recipe Community.

Please refer to The Basic Cookbook for the Vegetable stock paste recipe.

You can replace the turnip with parsnip or celeriac.Add a red chilli to the soup in step 6 for added flavour.This soup is a high source of protein, great for school lunches in a thermos.Roast chickpeas in the oven for 15 minutes before milling for more flavour.Sweet potato (kumera) may be a more readily available and cost effective alternative to turnip at certain times of the year.

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