Moroccan Vegetable Soup (Chorba)


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.

moroccan vegetable soup chorba
Cook Time:
35 mins
Additional Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 30 mins
6 servings, about 2 cups each


  • 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

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  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 Facts (per serving)

231 Calories
8g Fat
19g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Serving Size about 2 cups
Calories 231
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 20g 40%
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 49mg 16%
Vitamin A 3948IU 79%
Vitamin C 28mg 31%
Folate 39mcg 10%
Sodium 1043mg 45%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 3mg 16%
Magnesium 43mg 10%
Potassium 686mg 15%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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