By now I think you can tell that I love making old things new. Mom’s meatloaf, but not quite. Western Omelet, Spanish style. Chocolate caliente. When you already have a good thing, it’s really hard to make it better, so my best bet is to make it different.
Today I spotlight another twist on chicken soup. I grew up eating the stuff from scratch and because I really loved the Cock-a-leekie Soup I made a few months ago, I was excited to try another same, but different take on this classic. As for chicken soup, I’m sure every family in every country has a version that is the “right” one: Veggies or no veggies? Star noodles or long noodles? Chunky chicken or shredded chicken? Parsley? Thyme? Potatoes? It really is ladies’ choice.
This Algerian Shorba is more stew-like thanks to the sheer quantity of ingredients, which makes it a lot more filling than regular chicken soup. It’s almost like one of those “let’s clean out the fridge” recipes. It has it all- carrots, potatoes, legumes, noodles, carrots, chicken…and I’m sure any veggies, beans, noodles or meat can be swapped for the ones listed below. This makes a ridiculous amount… but I have to say that, after eating it for the past four days, I’m not tired of it at all, and would happily eat it for four more. And I have enough left to do just that.
Recipe adapted from celtnet.org.uk
- 1 ½ lbs chicken meat, cubed
- 1 onion, grated
- 1/2 zucchini, grated
- 1/2 small potato, grated
- 1/2 celery rib, halved
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 can chick-peas
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 TB smoked paprika
- 2 TB tomato paste
- 1/2 cup orzo, dry
- 2 TB parsley, chopped
- 2 TB mint leaves, chopped
- Lemon juice, if you like
- In a large stock pot, place the chicken, onion, zucchini, potato, celery, carrot, tomato paste, chick-peas, cinnamon and paprika in a pot along with about 2 cups of water. Season to taste, then bring to a boil.
- Cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Then add another 6-7 cups of water, bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add the orzo and cook for a further 10 minutes before adding the parsley and mint. Spoon into bowls and serve with fresh lemons if you prefer.
To accompany dinner, I did a really simple carrot salad. No muss, no fuss. But really, this is a salad, in soup form.
- ½ pound carrots, shredded
- Pinch salt
- Pinch sugar
- 2 tsp cumin
- Juice of about 2 lemons
- 2 TB red wine vinegar
- Handful parley, chopped
- 1 cup feta, crumbled
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the shredded carrots in and cook for about 5 minutes. Take them out and quickly blanch in some ice cold water.
- Mix in everything else. Chill until ready to serve.
Full of veggies, it stands on its own.