In Morocco, folks enjoy Chorba in winter and during Ramadan to break the fast. “Chorba” refers to a soup that hasn’t been thickened with cream or flour. There are many versions of this beloved dish, in other countries as well in the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Indian Subcontinent.
This year, Ramadan is expected to begin on the evening of Wednesday, March 22 and end on Thursday, April 20.
We hope you will enjoy this hearty version of Chorba with meat – lamb, beef or chicken – and chickpeas, potatoes and pasta to lend cozy comfort.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¾ lb boneless lamb or beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces or shredded rotisserie chicken, primarily thigh meat
- 2 medium yellow onions, halved/finely sliced
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- Small pinch saffron, about 3 threads (optional)
- 1 tsp fine salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp black pepper, plus more to taste
- 1 14-oz can chickpeas, rinsed/drained
- ½ of 14-oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 ½ Tbsp tomato paste
- Dash of harissa, mild or spicy
- 2 medium russet potatoes (a little over 1 lb total), peeled/diced
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 4 oz spaghetti, broken into 1-inch pieces
- 3 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- Optional: squeeze of fresh lemon juice for serving
In a large pot, over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add meat, onions, turmeric, saffron (if using), salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is slightly browned, and onions softened, about 7-10 minutes.
Add 7-8 cups water and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and leave to simmer gently for about 1 hour, or until meat starts breaking apart and is almost cooked. In the last 15 minutes or so, add sliced carrots and celery.
Add chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato paste and potatoes. Increase heat to bring to a boil. Reduce temperature to low, cover with lid and leave to simmer gently for 8-10 minutes – until potatoes are almost cooked and start to soften.
Add broken spaghetti and parsley; increase heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until spaghetti and potatoes are cooked, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add more water during cooking process if too much is evaporating, to maintain desired soup consistency.
Season with more salt/pepper and serve immediately with more chopped parsley on top and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.