Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sharba Libyia--Libyan Soup

Sharba Libyia will always remind me of Ramadan. At least in my family, it is mandatory all 30 days. If we dont eat Sharba Libyia our fast is incomplete. This soup is so delicious and flavorful. Its incredibly close to the Tabeekha or sauce we use in every other dish. When I first learned to make it, I was afraid thinking I had messed it up and created sauce not soup. Sharba Libyia is defined by its fresh parsley and dried mint added at the end. This soup is a crowd pleasure, I have never in my entire life met a person who didnt love it!

What you'll need:
- 9oz medium cubed lamb +bones
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup PLUS 1 tablespoon Tomato paste
- 1 cup garbanzo beans
-1/2 onion petite diced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Bzaar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup Orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- 3 tablespoons dried mint
- 10 cups water (divided)

What to do:
1. In a pot on med-high heat, add oil and onions to saute.
2. Add lamb to pot and allow to brown
3. After meat has browned on all sides, add garbanzo beans
4. Lowering heat to medium, add tomato paste, bzaar, cayenne and salt. Coat meat and beans.
5. Cover in 5 cups of water. Once it has reached a boil, lower heat to med-low and allow to simmer for 30 mins, allowing meat and beans to cook.
6.Once beans are cooked, bring up heat to high and add remaining water allow this to reach a boil.
7. Add Orzo to the pot. Remember to stir this often to avoid it sticking to the bottom.
8. Once Orzo is cooked, turn OFF the heat. Add cilantro,parsley, and mint. Give it a stir to combine. Residual heat will wilt herbs; you dont want it to boil otherwise they will become bitter.
9. Enjoy!


  1. when do you add the cilantro?

    1. I lived in Libya for 3 1/2 years, from Jan. 1974-Aug. 1977. My husband and I love Libyan soup. I am making it today. It is very delicious. I have a recipe very similar to yours but I use beef, and have ajusted the spices since I didn't know where to find harrart spice. I googled it and found this web site.

  2. Do you use dry or canned garbanzo beans?

    1. I always use dry garbanzo beans that I've rehydrated but if you want to use canned you can, add them at the end when you add the pasta