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Chicken Chorba | A Moroccan Chicken Noodle Soup

Chorba is a traditional soup enjoyed by North Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. Each country has their own unique variation. This easy chicken and noodle version is popular and good for you too! Make this today.

A bowl of Chorba.

Why I Love Chorba

The bright golden broth and noodles peeking through give away this traditional Moroccan Chorba. The methods are simple; dice, fry, simmer, done. That is perhaps why this style of soup has grown in popularity all over the globe.

Anything that is ‘everyday’ cooking will stand the test of time. Anybody migrating will be sure to take this recipe with them. The ingredients change a little between countries but the soup is the same magnificent goodness that will warm up chilled bodies and nourish hungry souls.

The ingredients are clean too which will inspire this new generation of cooks who want to ‘cook from the ground’, reducing the amount of highly processed ingredients they are using.

Moroccan Chorba may have lamb or chicken, chickpeas or vermicelli, sometimes both. It is tomato and broth based and uses lighter aromatics such as a bouquet of fresh herbs such as parsley and cilantro, lemon juice and ginger. There aren’t typically any heavy spices such as that is in Moroccan Harira.

Both Harira and Chorba are popular for breaking the fast during Ramadan. Both of these healthy soups bring quick relief to hungry tummies.

Moroccan Chorba is a clear type of soup, typically with chicken and vermicelli noodles in it. It’s a different take on the chicken noodle soup model. A little more robust and more colorful. I used pre-made vegetable broth but you can make your own. Some recipes make the broth in the soup. In addition to the veggies that are already in this soup, whole veggies such as onion, celery, carrot and bouquets of herbs are added in the beginning and removed later. If you have some homemade veggie broth in your freezer, this is a great time to use it.

What to Serve With Chorba

A nice homemade bread will be great with this soup such as Naan or Mana’eesh with Za’atar.

The word Chorba comes from the Arabic and Hindi word shorba which means gravy or soup. There are similar variations of this word such as corba (Turkey), shorwa (Pashtu) and shor (Persian).

For a Norwegian favorite soup, try Farikal, Norways national dish. It is a simple lamb and cabbage soup that is simmered for a few hours and served with boiled potatoes and crusty bread, perfect for cold Winter nights.

How to Make Chorba

Besides being a delicious soup what I love most about Chorba is how easy it is to make.

  • Saute the Onions and Carrots. Just cook until soft being careful not to brown the onions.
  • Add the Potatoes, Broth, Spices and Herbs. Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Add the Vermicelli, Tomatoes, Saffron. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the Lemon Juice. Serve hot and enjoy!

If you are making your own broth, you will need to check out this post on How to Make Broth. It also gives you clues as to when homemade broth is a must or if you can get away with store bought broth.


The ingredients for this soup.
onions and carrots cooking in a pot.
Fresh herbs tied with twine.

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The herbs simmering on top of the soup.
A bowl of Chorba.

Chicken Chorba | A Moroccan Chicken Noodle Soup

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Chorba is a traditional soup enjoyed by North Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. Each country has their own unique variation. This easy chicken and noodle version is popular and good for you too! Make this today.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 large white onion diced small
  • 1 cup of diced carrots
  • 2 cups of diced waxy potatoes
  • 1 Tbs of fresh ginger minced
  • 1 Tbs turmeric
  • 6 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1.5 lbs of chicken, diced (either white or dark meat)
  • fresh herbs tied with twine such as cilantro and parsley
  • 2 Tbs tomato paste
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes (may substitute fresh)
  • 3/4 cup of vermicelli noodles
  • medium pinch of saffron threads, soaked in half a cup of water (optional)
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt as needed

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven or soup pot, add oil over medium heat.  Add onion and carrots. Cook until soft, don't brown the onions.
  2. Add potatoes, ginger, turmeric, broth, chicken, herbs and tomato paste.  Simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, vermicelli** and saffron if using.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add lemon juice, check for seasoning.  Remove herb bunch.  Serve with bread.

Notes

  • Vitamin A degrades rapidly while cooking.  By adding tomatoes in the end you can increase the nutritional value of your soup.
  • Saffron can be hard to find and is expensive.  You can make a great soup without it.  I use it because it's traditional to Middle Eastern cooking.
  • I can't find decent tomatoes where I live so I almost always use canned tomatoes.  They taste better because they are canned when ripe.  Since they don't have to withstand shipping, they are a better variety than any I can find locally.
  • If you are planning on leftovers, you may want to cook and store the vermicelli separately as it will continue to absorb your soup broth in fridge.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 334Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 714mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 24g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Hannah

Thursday 24th of February 2022

Wonderful low key soup that taste delicious on a cold night. The chicken noodle soup aspect was very comforting.

Tina

Friday 25th of February 2022

Most regions have a chicken noodle soup! I love it.

Sapana

Tuesday 1st of October 2019

Such a tasty soup with fragrant spices! So much goodness in one bowl!

Beth Neels

Tuesday 1st of October 2019

This is such a delicious soup! We love the spice profile, especially the saffron! Yum. Just Yum!

Caroline

Tuesday 1st of October 2019

I love Moroccan flavors, they're so warm and comforting and this soup looks like a perfect example. Yum!

Tina

Tuesday 1st of October 2019

Me too! Moroccan flavors are the best, not too hot but full of warmth. Enjoy this soup season Caroline!

Carrie | Clean Eating Kitchen

Tuesday 1st of October 2019

This soup looks so hearty and warming. What a great dish for the fall, so full of flavor!

Tina

Tuesday 1st of October 2019

Thanks Carrie, this is one of my favorites. I love the clean simple ingredients and is easy to whip up. Enjoy!

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