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Mideast Minestrone Soup (Shurbat Al-Khudar)

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“A delicious and hearty soup from Faye Levy's cookbook, "Feast From the Mideast: 250 Sun-Drenched Recipes from the Lands of the Bible". Makes 6 first-course or 3 or 4 main-course servings.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil or 1 -2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large leeks, split, cleaned and sliced or 1 additional onion
  • 12 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 34 cups vegetable broth (or a 14 1/2-ounce can or a mixture of broth and water) or 1 34 cups chicken broth (or a 14 1/2-ounce can or a mixture of broth and water)
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large boiling potato, peeled and diced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 14 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 -4 small middle eastern pale-green squash (about 1 pound) or 3 -4 small zucchini, diced (about 1 pound)
  • 4 -5 ounces spinach, turnip greens or 4 -5 ounces other greens, rinsed, large stems removed (kale, chard) or 4 -5 ounces half a 10-ounce bag leaves spinach or 4 -5 ounces other greens, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 3 ounces vermicelli, spaghetti (about 1 cup) or 3 ounces extra-fine egg noodles, broken in 3- to 4-inch lengths (about 1 cup)
  • 1 12 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or 1 12 cups white beans (or a 15-ounce can, drained)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1 small loaf sourdough bread, sliced


  1. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion, leek and half of parsley, and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until onion is soft and light golden. Add broth, 1 quart (or 1 L) water, carrot, potato, cumin and turmeric and bring to a boil. If using a potato, add an additional cup of water. Cover and simmer over low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Add squash and spinach and bring to a boil. Add pasta and simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat for 3 minutes. Add chickpeas and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, or until pasta and vegetables are tender. Stir in remaining parsley. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne. Serve hot.

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