Like minestrone, there are many versions of this Tunisian soup also known as Chorba b'Hodra. It is also made with meat, and if you wish to do that, brown ½ to 1 pound cubed beef or lamb with the onions and spices. This soup will just get better as it sits. Serves 6
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pinches of saffron threads, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1 tablespoon New Mexico chili powder or hot Hungarian paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground caraway seed
- 8 cups water
- one 1-pound butternut squash, peeled, cut into large cubes
- 3 carrots, peeled, finely chopped
- 1 turnip, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 potato, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces
- 2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
- 1½ cups canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 x 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
- ⅓ cup orzo, broken spaghetti, or Israeli couscous
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat oil in heavy wide soup pot or Dutch Oven over medium heat.
- Add onion, garlic and saffron threads. Cover and cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons cilantro, 2 tablespoons parsley and next 4 ingredients. Cover and cook 5 minutes.
- Add water and next 6 ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 25 minutes.
- Add chickpeas.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain.
- Add pasta to soup.
- Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle soup into bowls.
- Sprinkle with remaining parsley and cilantro.
- Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over each and serve.
DO-AHEAD TIP: Soup can be made 1 day ahead. Cool. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm before continuing.