Delicious Libyan Soup: Shorba Libiya Recipe

libyan soup


  • Prep: 60 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Total: 110 mins
  • Cooking Method: saute
  • Recipe Cuisine: Arabic


  • 500grams lamb meat (chopped into small cubes)
  • 1onion (chopped)
  • 1 1/2 cupswater
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup parsley (chopped)
  • 1tomato (chopped)
  • 2tablespoonstomato paste
  • 1/3 cup orzo pasta
  • 2teaspoons dried mint
  • 1teaspoonLibyan spice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoonturmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoonpaprika
  • 1-2 cayenne peppers
  • 1tablespoon oil

Libyan cuisine is a blend of Mediterranean and North African traditional cuisines. Libyan foods show traces of Italian and Arabic culinary styles. This Libyan Soup is called Shorba; in other words, Shorba is the Arabic word for soup.

Libyan Soup is a popular appetizer, especially for Iftar in Ramadan. It is traditionally prepared with Libyan spices. To make this spice, combine 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, black pepper, ground ginger, and cardamom.

The most important ingredient in this famous dish, however, is mint, lots of dried mint. Also, remember that the classic Libyan Soup recipe has an abundance of turmeric, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. You will regret not trying this hot and spicy dish sooner once you learn how to prepare it.


Step 1

Heat a medium pot over medium heat. Heat the oil in it. Add the onions and sauté until golden. Once the onions are soft and golden, add the meat and stir. Then, add the turmeric, Libyan spice, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Make sure everything is well stirred. After they are mixed, add tomato paste. Allow it to cook for one to two minutes until the oil turns red.

Step 2

After you have ensured that the spices are well mixed and the meat is well coated with them, turn the heat down to low and let the mixture simmer for 5-7 minutes (or until the meat is tender). Let it simmer until the oil is infused. In other words, the lamb fat should create a liquid. You should not add water until you see the oil. Put 1 1/2 cups of water into the mixture and bring it to a boil. Allow it to simmer for 20 minutes on low heat.

Step 3

After twenty minutes, add in the orzo pasta and let it cook for ten minutes. Once the pasta is cooked, add the parsley and cilantro or any fresh herb of your choice. Cover the pot and cook on low heat.

Step 4

The last and most popular ingredient is mint! Rub one tablespoon of the dried mint between the palms of your hands over the pot. It should give you a fine powder. Add it to the Soup. Allow the mint to cook for a few minutes. Give your Libyan Soup a final stir and simmer for a few more minutes.

Serve the Libyan Soup hot with lemon wedges, Tandoor Bread, and Salad. Bon Appetit!

Cooking Notes

If you are not a fan of red meat, you can substitute the lamb with chicken.

There is no way to omit the dried mint because that’s what gives the soup its classic flavor.

Libyan soup can also be made with couscous or chickpeas. In the case of chickpeas, you should add soaked dried chickpeas to the pot after seeing the lamb oil and then the water. In order to achieve a better texture, however, you need to peel the chickpeas.


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