Tunisian Vegetable Stew with Saffron and Noodles
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.