Chorba Beida (Algerian White Soup)

Chorba Baida

Chorba Beida or White Chorba as it’s called in our home is a traditional Algerian soup from Algiers and Constantine. We normally have it throughout Ramadan or even on a cold Florida night which is not often, lol. Traditionally the soup is made without vegetables. For a culture that uses more vegetables than meat I found it odd that the soup required none. But my mother in law adds potato and zucchini, so we do too. White Chorba has a counterpart known as Chorba Frik that has frik (ground durum) but for White Chorba rice, orzo, vermicelli or even angel hair is used instead.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound chicken (breast is best)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 small potatoes chopped
  • 1/2 cup chickpeas (soaked overnight)
  • 1 small zucchini chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 handful of fresh parsley chopped
  • handful of angel hair (no more than a nickel in diameter)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 cups hot water
  • chicken bouillon (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a soup pot, heat olive oil and add onions. Sprinkle with a bit of salt to sweat until translucent.
  2. Add chopped chicken then season with salt, cinnamon and black pepper. Brown chicken slightly. Do not let chicken stick to pot.
  3. Then add chickpeas and potatoes. Fill pot with 5 cups hot water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Once the boil has started, let it do so for 1 minute then turn down to medium-low heat and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Add zucchini to pot and continue simmering for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl beat the egg, and lemon.
  7. While stirring the pot profusely pour in the egg and lemon mixture. This will make the soup turn white in color. Continue stirring to throughly mix the egg in.
  8. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.
  9. Pour into bowls and garnish with parsley.
  10. Serve with boureks (Algerian Fried Pastry) and bread such as a baguette.

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