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In my experience, every culture has it's version of chicken soup. With Ramadan approaching quickly I've been looking for new soup recipes. I'm a busy mom and finding fast, easy and healthy recipes can sometimes feel like a chore. I've always been hesitant about soup because it always felt like it took so much time. I was wrong. This soup is fast and delicious.
Usually I go to my mother in law for new Moroccan recipe ideas. In our latest conversation (translated through MarocBaba) I asked her for some ideas that don't involve a lot of cooking – or that could be eaten cold. Her response….“Why would you do that?” Frankly if I were in Morocco fasting during Ramadan in the middle of August, hot soup would be low on my list of “things to make and eat”. But that's just me.
Instead I did eek out two new ideas for soups. As with most recipes she can't tell me how much of anything to add, just what ingredients are in the dish. In darija she called this recipe chorba kdra vermicelli or Soup with Vegetables and Vermicelli. Creative isn't it? I made my version with rice instead of vermicelli noodles but you can add in rice, noodles or any other grain you'd like.
There is an endless list of vegetables you can use in this recipe. Take advantage of whatever produce is local and in season for you. All of my vegetables came from our farmer's market, except for the herbs which I grew in my backyard (hey it's a big deal for a black thumb like me!) If you're making this with plans to freeze some to use during Ramadan, cook the noodles or rice seperately and as needed. They don't freeze and reheat well.
- 1 small onion chopped finely
- 2 cloves of garlic, skin removed and left whole
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large breast of chicken cubed
- 8-10 fingerling potatoes
- 3-4 medium carrots
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 c (one carton) Chicken Broth
- 2 c water
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 6-7 springs of parsley chopped finely
- 1/4 c rice or vermicelli noodles
- Before cooking prepare your vegetables by peeling, chopping and grating as needed.
- In a large pot add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and one small onion chopped finely. Heat on medium heat for 5 minutes until onion softens.
- Next, add the chunks of chicken and brown on all sides making sure the onions are not burning. Turn down the heat if they start to turn dark brown.
- Pour the Saffron Road chicken broth into the pot along with the water, grated ginger, salt, black pepper and parsley.
- Stir in one Tablespoon of tomato paste along with all of the chopped vegetables. Drop in the two cloves of garlic. Cover the pot and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the lid and stir in 1/4c of rice. While stirring use a large spoon to break up the pieces of chicken to smaller bites.
- Continue cooking uncovered 10-15 minutes until the rice is soft.
- **If you are preparing this soup to freeze cook the rice or noodles separately from the soup and add as needed. They do not freeze well in soup.