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Moroccan Vegetable Soup (Chorba)

September/October 2008

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (72 votes)

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.



READER'S COMMENT:
"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 "
Moroccan Vegetable Soup (Chorba)

Makes: 6 servings, about 2 cups each

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 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 1/2-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 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 ounces angel hair pasta, (capellini), broken into small pieces (about 1/2 cup), or orzo, preferably whole-wheat
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation

  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.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: 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 tienda.com. It will keep in an airtight container for several years.

Nutrition

Per serving: 260 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 32 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 4 g fiber; 615 mg sodium; 697 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (80% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv), Zinc (26% dv), Potassium (20% dv), Iron (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1/2 fat


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