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Sharba: Lybian Soup Recipe

This past Sunday, my friends Sylvie and Jazmin came over to my condo for a cooking date. The weather, rainy, grey, and cold, was the perfect setting for catching up, eating large bowls of soup, drinking hard cider, and eating fresh out of the oven s'mores cookies.

Sylvie was craving Jazmin's Sharba (a Lybian soup), so that's what we cooked together...she's bossy at times ;) This was my first time trying Sharba, and I now fully understand why it's a favorite for many.

Below is a version of Jazmin's recipe shared with her permission and slightly rewritten to fit my style/format ;)

Jazmin's Sharba
Serves ~ 6
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1.5 pounds goat (bones removed, but not thrown out)
spice mix: 2 tablespoons turmeric, 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoons black pepper, 1 teaspoon allspice: add all to a grinder and pulse until fine
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 cups water
1-2 jalapenos, halved lengthwise (depending on how much heat you like)
1/2 cup orzo
2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 tablespoon dried mint
chopped parsley
lemon wedges
baba ghanoush

1. Heat a large cooking vessel such as Le Creuset. Add oil and allow to heat up.
2. Add onions and saute on medium heat until they are golden brown.
3. Add your meat with the bones and about a tablespoon of the spice mix. Allow to brown.
4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, water, another tablespoon of the spice mix, and jalapenos. Bring to a boil.
5. Simmer until the meat is tender.
6. Add in the orzo and chickpeas. Adjust the seasoning as needed and simmer until the orzo is cooked through.
7. Add dried mint.
8. Serve topped with parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice, a chunk of crusty bread, and baba ghanoush.

NOTE: some of you who like the bones, would love to suck the marrow out of them. Some of you, like me, will want to make sure to pull out the bones after cooking and before serving the soup.

The leftovers will thicken up as they sit in the refrigerator, so you may want to add a bit of broth when you reheat them.