An Arabic soup differs in taste and texture according to the geographical region it is prepared in. Traditionally, vegetables, rice and meat are cooked together to form a single one pot meal but the actual recipes vary according to the availability of ingredients and taste preferences of the people in the different geographical locations.
History of Arabic Soups
The invention of Arabic soups can be traced back to the time of the Ottoman Turks. Regional influence and culture is also responsible for their formation up to a great extent. Location of villages, love for food and surrounding staples -all have their influences on the making of Arabic soups.
Arabic Soup Recipes: Ingredients Used and Preparation
Originally, Arab cuisine relied heavily on a diet of dates, wheat, rice, barley and meat. However, in the modern times, a large range of ingredients are used in Arab cooking. Yoghurt is used extensively in the cooking process to flavor meats during the cooking and to thicken soups. As a result, it is common to find thick nutritious soups with combinations of chicken, rice, and meat. Local spices and herbs like zatar, saffron, cinnamon, garlic, parsley, mint, sumac etc. are used to flavor the soups.
Serving and Eating Arabic Soup
Traditionally, Arabic soups are served during the fasting month of Ramzan. The thick soups are served early in the morning to fortify the body for the day-long fast. Breakfast may have different types of lentil soups that are served with unleavened bread and tea. Meat based soups are served for lunch or dinner as a single one pot meal accompanied with bread or rice.
Arabic Soup Recipes: Variations
Orange Lentil Soup (Shorabat Adas) – This is a popular recipe which is made especially during Ramadan. Its unique flavor and aroma comes from cumin. Adding lemon to this soup, not only enhances its taste but also helps in absorbing the the iron content present in the lentils.
Shorabat Adas tastes much more delicious the next day. Before reheating the soup some water must be added to it. It can be stored in an air-tight container for at least 6 months.
It is made by boiling the ingredients over medium heat. It can be garnished with croutons and is best served with olives and lemon wedges alongside.
Looz Shorba (Almond Soup) – The main ingredients of this soup include blanched almonds, onions, butter, heavy cream, chicken stock, salt and white pepper. It is served hot.
Hamud (Chicken Soup with Lemon) – This versatile recipe is a hot favorite among the Egyptians. This Arabic soup is popularly served in the form of a sauce for rice but it is often served twice in a single meal too. It is first served as a soup and then it is served in the form of a sauce. It is a chicken soup made with vegetables and celery with its flavor obtained from a combination of lemon and garlic.