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Chicken and vegetable soup (Marka brodo)

Soup is usually considered a wind=ter dish, warming and a source of comfort. However, for some reason, driven by my body's needs, I am asking for a lot of support this summer. Light chicken soups that both satisfy and fill you up. This is another version of chicken soup that I found in my library that I looked forward to making.

This is a lovely soup that highlights the mild flavours of the North African peninsula. The mild spices are delicate and soothing, and the addition of vegetables fills you up in the absence of the loads of meat. Traditional to the style of North African cooking, the soup is cooked slowly over a long period of time, allowing the flavours to both develop and integrate beautifully.

This is a simple soup to make; add all the ingredients and simmer until done. Literally. But in the process, you make a lovely broth, the chicken is cooked till it shreds easily between your fingers and is soft, and the mushy vegetables are delicious. The turmeric, pepper and cinnamon spices are comforting, subtle and delicious. This is a simple soup, but delicious and satisfying. In this warm weather, all I had was a large bowl and a slice of sourdough bread, and I was happy and satiated.

Ya Amna translates to "My mother", and this is a cookbook that tells the story of the migration of Shoshana from Djerba, Tunisia to Israel. This is a book about a life and the memories and experiences of a family told through food. Ya Amna is a taste of the essence of Shoshana and the Cohen family: a spirit of boundless generosity, simplicity and modesty, together with common sense and faith rooted in love and in human and female strength. The recipes are down-home cooking that takes you to the flavours of North Africa, simple and delicious.

For more recipes from this book, click here.


1 chicken breast or 2 chicken thighs, halved

3 carrots, diced into small cubes

2 potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes

2 onions, diced into small cubes

2 stems of celery, diced into small cubes

1 zucchini, diced into small cube

12 cups water

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 allspice berries

Salt, to taste

12-15 strands of thin pasta like spaghetti, broken into three equal pieces

Add all the ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil. Scoop off the scum if any. Simmer gently with the lid closed for 45 minutes till the chicken is very tender and the vegetables are very soft.

Remove the chicken and cool completely. Shred the chicken between the fingers into thin strands. Set aside with a few tablespoons of stock to keep the chicken moist.

Before you get ready to serve:

Add the pasta to the soup and cook for 10-12 minutes till the pasta is cooked. It takes longer to cook pasta in a soup stock than plain water so be careful to cook them just al dante.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with some shredded chicken and serve immediately.

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