Chorba Lsen Tir, Chorba Lsen Asfour

IMG_8958Chorba L’sen Tir, is a spicy Algerian soup made with orzo pasta. It is very rich and healthy, and is often served during Ramadan to break the fast. There are many varieties of soups served during Ramadan but this one is my favorite. This soup is piquant, peppery and delicious.

Chorba means soup in Arabic and L’sen Tir means bird tongs (like the shape of this pasta) and Asfour means birds.


  • 300g of lamb or mutton (cut in small pieces)
  • 4 tablespoon of sunflower oil
  • 500g of ripe tomatoes or one can of peeled plum tomato mixed
  • Handful of chickpeas (soaked overnight)
  • 1 brown or white onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 courgette (grated and cut in small cubes)
  • 1 small carrot (grated and cut in small cubes)
  • 1 small potato (cut in small cubes)
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • Harissa (more or less depending on your taste)
  • 1 tablespoon of red sweet paprika
  • 2 liters of warm water
  • 200g of orzo pasta or risoni
  • 1 small bouquet of coriander
  • Few fresh mint leaves chopped
  • 1 lemon


  1. Place the tomatoes into a boiling water pot, cook for less than one minute.
  2. Remove them with a slotted spoon and let them to cool off.
  3. Peel back the skin with your hands and mix them as a purée.
  4. In a large pot add the sunflower oil and add the chopped onion, on a medium heat.
  5. Add the lamb/mutton cut in small cubes.
  6. Sauté a few minutes.
  7. Add the chopped coriander, the chopped mint, the salt, the black pepper, the harissa, the chickpeas, the chopped courgette, the chopped potato, the chopped carrot and the paprika.
  8. Mix the lamb, the vegetables and the spices together with a wooden spoon.
  9. Pour a little of water (from the 2 liters of water) and simmer for a few minutes to let the flavors combine together.
  10. Pour the tomato purée with the rest of water.
  11. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until the lamb is tender.
  12. Pour slowly the orzo pasta.
  13. Reduce the heat and simmer again for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  14. Serve hot, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and squize a little of lemon on the top.

This soup is served with with Kesra, an Algerian flat bread on the side!

Bonne dégustation, saha ftourkoum!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. sherry says:

    i don’t eat lamb but i guess you could substitute it with chicken. sounds delish!

  2. Thank you and yes you can substitute with chicken (different flavors and very tasty too).Have a nice day!

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