Moroccan Vegetable Soup (Chorba)

Moroccan Vegetable Soup (Chorba)

16 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2008

Hearty with chunks of beef or lamb, plenty of vegetables and a bit of pasta, this Moroccan soup gets its rich, golden-orange color from turmeric.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 pound beef stew meat, (such as chuck) or lamb stew meat (shoulder or leg), trimmed and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium beef broth, or water
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 small turnips, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, leaves included, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of saffron threads, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 12 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, plus more leaves for garnish
  • 8 sprigs fresh cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
  • 1 large zucchini, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 2 ounces angel hair pasta, (capellini), broken into small pieces (about ½ cup), or orzo, preferably whole-wheat
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and turmeric; stir to coat. Add meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add broth (or water), tomatoes and their juice, turnips, carrots, celery and saffron. Tie parsley and cilantro sprigs together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Bring the soup to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the meat is tender, 45 to 50 minutes.
  2. Stir in zucchini and cook, covered, until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add pasta and cook until soft, 4 to 10 minutes, depending on the type of pasta. Discard the parsley and cilantro sprigs. Season with salt (start with 1 teaspoon if you're using beef broth; add more if you're using water) and pepper. Serve sprinkled with parsley and/or cilantro leaves, if desired.
  • Equipment: Kitchen string
  • Ingredient note: The dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron adds flavor and golden color to a variety of Middle Eastern, African and European foods. Find it in the spice section of supermarkets, gourmet shops and at It will keep in an airtight container for several years.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 2 cups
  • Per serving: 231 calories; 8 g fat(2 g sat); 4 g fiber; 19 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein; 39 mcg folate; 49 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 3,948 IU vitamin A; 28 mg vitamin C; 54 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 1,043 mg sodium; 686 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (79% daily value), Vitamin C (47% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: ½ starch, 1½ vegetable, 2 lean meat, ½ fat

Reviews 16

February 05, 2018
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By: SandyP.
If I could rate this higher, I would! I can't get over the flavor in this soup and the rich colors. It is a party in my mouth. Whoever said this was bland, did something wrong or didn't add in all the herbs or spices. One thing I did do that might have added more zing was using Rotel diced tomatoes with mild green chilies and I did not have zucchini, so I used a big handful of baby spinach. I also also lessened the liquid by 2 cups so that it was more of a stew. My husband is English doesn't like real spicy food, but he ate it all without one complaint. This puts my regular 'ho hum' beef vegetable soup to shame. The saffron was not hard to find at all. Walmart had it in the spice aisle.
February 10, 2017
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By: Shawn Wray
February 02, 2011
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By: Kaye Spaude
Disappointed I was looking forward to eating this soup but was disappointed. I used lamb and the soup was very blah! I guess I must like spicy food. Pros: healthy Cons: flavorless
November 18, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
This is one of my favorite soups! Everyone I've ever served it to absolutely enjoys it, it's now a staple in my Fall & Winter "comfort food" collection. Maxine
November 13, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Find an Indian grocery store for saffron, you'll pay less than 1/3 of the price in a regular supermarket. I pay $6 instead of $20.
October 02, 2010
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By: bhess26
This is one of my favorite vegetable soups. I'm a vegetarian so I omit the meat and use chickpeas instead. My husband adds meat into his portion, which makes it a great meal for both of us to share and enjoy. The turnips are great in this, so if you're not sure if you like them, give them a try!
July 23, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Not one of our favorites from While the beef was very tender, the soup itself was a bit flavorless. We didn't get the "earthy" taste in our broth that a previous comment posted. It was a let down considering the time put into the dish. Will probably not try again.
July 19, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
Delicious! I omitted the saffron, added some kale that I had from our CSA and substituted alphabet pasta for the angel hair in hopes that my 3 year old would eat it. We both ate our bowls full (well, he at least ate the broth and the letters). This is definitely a keeper of a recipe.
June 18, 2010
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By: audra
my husband especially loved this. left out cilantro, turnips and saffron and it still rocked.
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