Xarba Arbija – A Libyan Soup – BM # 32

28th Sept, 2013

Xarba Arbija %%

When looking for a recipe to make for the alphabet X, my husband came up with this soup which is a classic Libyan Beef and Vegetable soup with lentils and chickpeas. The name was very fascinating and above all the soup had a five spice blend in it which made it very aromatic. I skipped the meat from the soup and added vegetable broth instead of meat stock to make the soup flavorful.

This was a very filling soup and it closely resembled the Lentil Soup that I had made earlier this month. Fall has begun for us and I am all set with few new soup recipes that are right up my alley.

The soup had a liberal quantity of the five spice also called Hararat. This is a very classic Libya Five Spice blend that is used in many soup recipes. I found the recipe from here and when you get a chance, check out their vast collection of African recipes. I will be making a few in the coming days.

Xarba Arbija %%

A-Z Marathon – Alphabet X
Category – International

Preparation time – 15 mins
Cooking time – 1 hr 20 mins
Difficulty level – easy

Ingredients – (Serves 6)

  • Red lentils / masoor dal – ½ cup (washed and drained)
  • Chick peas (cooked or canned) – 1 can (drained and rinsed) or about 200 gms cooked
  • Vegetable broth – 500 ml or about 2 cups
  • Water – 500 ml or about 2 cups
  • Onion – 1 (finely chopped)
  • Garlic – 2 cloves (minced)
  • Carrot – 1 large (finely chopped)
  • Potato – 1 large (skin removed and finely chopped)
  • Tomato – 3 (chopped)
  • Hararat – 2 tbsp (see below for recipe)
  • Chili powder – ½ tsp
  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
To make the Hararat or the Libyan Five spice blend –
  • Red chilies – 2
  • Coriander seeds – 4 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 4 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 2 stick (broken into pieces)
  • All spice –  1 tsp
Xarba Arbija %%
Procedure – 

To make the Hararat –

  • Dry roast the red chilies, cinnamon, cumin and coriander seeds until fragrant (about 2-3 mins). Once the spices are roasted add the all spice and then give it one stir. Turn off the flame and let it cool down.
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  • Grind the roasted spices into fine powder using a spice blender and store in an airtight container for future use.
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To make the soup –
  • Heat oil in deep pot and add the chopped onions and garlic. Saute until softened (for about 5 mins).
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  • Add the chopped vegetables and fry it for 5 more minutes. 
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  • Now add the hararat spice, chili powder, salt, sugar and the tomatoes and mix well. Let it cook for about 5 mins more. Add the salt carefully since the broth will have some salt in it.
 Xarba Arbija %%
  • Add the washed and drained lentils and mix it well. Add the vegetable stock and water. 
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  • Bring it to a boil and then simmer for about 40 mins or until the lentils are cooked.
  • Now add the cooked or canned chickpeas and let it cook for 15 more mins.
  • Check for the consistency of the soup and add more water if it is too thick.
  • Serve hot with lemon wedges on the side or with some crusty bread.
Xarba Arbija %%


Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32

Linking this recipe to African Diaspora Recipes




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