Oct 25, 2011

Moroccan Chorba (Soup) with Carrot and Summer Squash

It is the time of year for a warm, yet nutritious, bowl of soup and homemade bread.  As the soup is cooking, the house is filled with the aroma of exotic spices from North Africa.  I dream of Morocco, the Mosaic tiles, the muezzin calling for prayer, tajines, couscous, drinking mint tea...


3-4 TBS of olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 TBS tomato paste
1 TBS smen or butter
3-4 whole cloves
7-8 cups of chicken broth or 3-4 Knorr bouillon cubes and 7-8 cups of  water
1 tsp turmeric
1-2 tsp of Ras El Hanout
salt\pepper to taste
1-2 tsp sugar
4-8 sprigs of chopped cilantro, you can use Italian parsley and cilantro together too
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 cans (14 oz) of chopped tomatoes or 4 medium tomatoes, skinned and chopped
a handful of vermicelli or any other small pasta.
plain yogurt to garnish or sour cream or heavy cream

In a soup pot, add the olive oil, onions, celery, butter or smen.  Simmer until the onions are translucent.  Add the spices and the parsley/cilantro and simmer for a couple of minutes.  Next, add the rest of the ingredients except the broth and pasta.  Cook until the carrots and squash start to turn colors then add the broth.  Cook on medium heat for about 30-40 minutes.  Finally, add the pasta and cook for another 10 minutes or until the pasta is done.  You can puree this soup, but I like it chunky. Garnish with plain yogurt and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!