Quick Libyan Soup Recipe
I met a wonderful lady with the most beautiful, rich Italian accent, who works in the Physio department I attended. She grew up in Italy and is married to a Libyan, now living in Kent.
She is at the life stage where her children have grown up, living abroad and is a grandmother. She is past making fussy meals this Libyan Soup is her go-to quick easy dinner for two, after a long day at work. The recipe can easily be scaled up.
There are different versions to the Libyan soup, most with a handful of couscous, Italia’s recipe uses Italian pasta stars, rather than couscous and uses leftover roasted meat and in essence is a vegan soup. Her favourite addition to the soup is a selection of fresh fish, dropped in right at the end and cooked in the residual heat of the soup.
I have made the soup with both pasta and couscous, it is delicious both ways. The pasta is used as a thickener which is very clever, as there is texture but not distinctive pasta pieces. With the couscous, it is evident and very much a main ingredient of the soup. I struggled to find the pasta stars and ordered them from Ocado in the end, that was pre-Covid-19!
I decided to try the recipe on a Monday when we generally eat a vegetarian meal to detox from the weekend indulgences. Looking at the veggie drawer, I added carrots, celery and a few peppers to the pot and fried them for a little time before adding the tomato paste. I popped the whole lot in the blender with the passata and then made the soup as described to me in the hospital waiting area. So simple and absolutely delicious.
If you are looking for a lovely hearty Libyan soup that takes a good 11/2 hours I would try Delia’s recipe.
This version is perfect for the weeks ahead, it provides something nutritious, quick and uses store cupboard ingredients.
- 1 onion fried in a little olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
- salt, black pepper and chilli powder to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 carton of tomato passata
- water to thin to your desired thickness
- 1 vegetarian stock cube
- 4 Tablepsoons -1 tin of chickpeas rinsed
- 4-5 heaped tablespoons pasta stars or couscous more for a thicker soup
- Parsley to garnish
- For a meat version add any fish, leftover roasted meats cut into small cubes
- Fry the onions until translucent.
- Add the tomato paste and fry until the tomato paste releases its oils.
- Spoon in the spices and stir.
- Pour in the passata, water and crumble in the stock cube and add the chickpeas.
- Heat the soup through and just before serving add the pasta stars or couscous.
- Cook for the length of time stated on the packet.
- For a thicker soup add more pasta stars or couscous but a little goes a long way in this recipe.
- Serve and enjoy
Add roasted meat, or chunks of tofu if desired.
The quantity can vary my recipe made 6 huge bowls of soup you may add more or less water, Any leftovers can be enjoyed the next day.
If you don't think you will not eat all the soup, only add pasta to the amount you will eat that day and when you reheat the soup the next time, add the raw pasta to the saved batch and reheat.