It’s a time of year when we begin to appreciate what we have, a time for reflection, submission & Yes, a time for change & forgiveness. It’s also a time when sadly, the plate wars commence! Yes it’s Ramadan & everyone is sharing what’s on their plate at Iftar! (The time of breaking fast)
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While the pangs of hunger & thirst take over, you learn to become accustomed to the state your body is in & think of those less fortunate.
That doesn’t stop you from thinking of food & deciding what you’ll nourish your family with this Iftar. Most tables at iftar are adorned with many different dishes. While this isn’t an eating contest. We can still try to stay humble, with the fact that, yes, our eyes are bigger than our bellies 😂
One staple you will find on many tables this Ramadan is Soup/Shorba/Corba! This is because after a full day fasting, you need a replenishing healthy way to begin introducing your stomach to foods again & something that is liquid is much kinder to the stomach after not eating for so long.
So seeing as soup plays a vital role on any Ramadan table at Iftar, I’m sure you’ve questioned yourself a million times. “Which soup shall I serve?”
I know in Algeria, the staple soups are Shorba & Harrira. These go without saying. They are hearty & filling. But can get very boring, very quickly! Imagine 30 days eating almost identical soups? Nah!
When I was a kid the only soup we ate was my Mums Stew, which was a meal in it’s self. I never saw soup as a “starter” as I had always known them to be quite filling! My Mums Stew was comprised of hearty vegetables, barley, Lamb/Turkey & some fluffy dumplings! It was always rich, filling & most importantly, warming! So we very rarely ate this soup in the summer months.
After realising the importance of soup/shorba at Ramadan & with me & the kids being somewhat bored of the same thing daily, I decided to try my hand at different soups. I looked for ones that are less time consuming but not compromising on taste, nourishment & flavour!
So I’ve decided to give you a round up of my staple go-to soups that my children love! They’re easy, quick & most importantly full of flavour!
Egyptian Chicken Orzo Soup
A fast tasty & healthy soup that will impress even the fussy kids at your table
- ½ Cup Orzo Lissan Asfour/Birds Tongue Pasta
- 1 Onion Chopped
- ½ Cup Large Celery Chopped
- ½ Cup Carrots Cubed
- ½ Cup Potatoes Cubed
- 1-2 Cooked Chicken Breasts Chopped in Cubes
- 2 Cubes Low Sodium Chicken Stock Maggi/Jumbo
- 1 TBSP Dried or Fresh Thyme I use Palestinian Za'taar Mix
- 1 TBSP Parsley Fresh is better
- 1 TSP Oregano
- 1 Bay Leaf Optional
- 1 Lemon Or to taste
Brown orzo in a non stick pan with a little butter & olive oil, stir continuously until lightly toasted – set aside.
In another pan fry the onion onion, carrot, potato & celery (if using) in a little olive oil & butter.
Once sealed, add in the cooked chicken cubes, salt, pepper & herbs & stir.
Then add the toasted Orzo to the mix.
Add in the chicken stock (I use 1 & a half filled Pyrex jugs) & lemon juice.
Simmer for ten minutes until Orzo has plumped up a little & the soup looks rich.
Remove bay leaf (if using) & serve!
This soup is also known as – Birds Tongue Soup or Shorbat Lissan Asfour!
The Orzo can be found in most supermarkets in the pasta section, it is sometimes called Lissan Asfour, Birds Tongue Pasta or Rice Pasta (as it resembles rice grains in it’s shape)
Most of the herbs can be either fresh or dried, depending on your stock & ease of obtaining them, I use a Palestinain Za’taar mix as it gives the soup an amazing smell & flavour!
Chicken can be omitted completely & this can be made vegetarian.
Bay leaf & celery can be added or omitted, depending on your taste.
I like this very lemony so I add an extra squeeze of lemon on top when serving.
Turkish red lentil soup
Turkish Red Lentil Soup
A speedy easy version of a traditional warming, comforting & flavourful soup.
- 4 TBSP Butter Not margarine
- 1 TSP Olive Oil
- 1 Onion Finely chopped
- 2 TSP Paprika
- 1 Cup Red Lentils Washed
- 1/2 Cup Fine bulgur wheat Optional
- 2 TBSP Tomato Puree
- 2 Jugs Chicken Stock
- 1/3 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 TBSP Dried Mint Leaves crumbled
- Garnish: Lemon slices & a few mint leaves
Heat the butter & olive oil in a large non stick saucepan & saute the onions over low heat until they are transluscent. Stir in the lentils & bulgur (if using) & paprika to coat them in the butter.
Add the tomato paste, stir to coat ingredients
Pour in stock, & hot pepper, bring to a boil, & cook until soft & creamy
Blend in a food processor, add back to the pot & add lemon, stir & turn off
When ready to serve, crumble the mint between your palms into the soup. Stir & remove the soup from the heat. Let rest for 10 minutes, then ladle into bowls.
Serve with a lemon wedge
Turkish Tomato & Vermicelli Chorba
A super easy Low Fat Keto, Paleo friendly soup suitable for vegetarians
- 1/2 Cup Vermicelli Broken
- 1 Tsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Large Tomatoes Cut In Half & Grated
- 1 Tbsp Paprika
- 1 Jug Chicken/Vegetable Stock
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1/2 Freshly Squeezed Lemon Add According To Taste
Cut tomatoes in half & grate all of the flesh until you’re left with the outer skin & discard.
Meanwhile melt butter & olive oil in a pan, add vermicelli & stir continuously until beginning to turn golden
Add tomato & simmer for a minute
Add the paprika & stir in until it begins to all clump together, add a little salt & pepper to taste
Pour over the stock & lemon juice if using
Simmer on low until vermicelli is cooked through
Not much salt is needed because the stock already has an adequate amount, but feel free to add to your liking. Simmer until the vermicelli is cooked, soup begins to thicken & looks rich.
So there you have my #bishbashbosh soups that are quick, healthy & seriously moreish. What other ingredients would you add to switch up these soups? Let me know in the comments below & don’t forget to share!!