Moroccan Vegetable Soup (Chorba)

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.

Low Calorie | Low Carb | Low Cholesterol | Low Sat Fat | High Potassium | Heart Healthy | Diabetes Appropriate | Healthy Weight

Makes 6 servings, about 2 cups each

ACTIVE TIME: 35 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 1 1/2 hours



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
1/2 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.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 260 calories; 10 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 32 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 23 g protein; 4 g fiber; 615 mg sodium; 697 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (80% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv), Zinc (26% dv), Potassium (20% dv), Iron (15% dv).
1 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 1/2 vegetable, 2 lean meat, 1/2 fat

TIP: 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.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Equipment: Kitchen string

From EatingWell Magazine September/October 2008