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Moroccan Barley Soup with Milk - Hssoua Belboula

User Rating 4.5 Star Rating (4 Reviews)


Moroccan Barley Soup with Milk - Hssoua Belboula

Hssoua Belboula - Moroccan Barley Soup with Milk

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

Barley (belboula) is a common grain in Morocco, and used to make soups, breads and even couscous. In this recipe, barley grits are cooked until tender with olive oil and cumin. Milk, butter and evaporated milk are added at the end of cooking to richen the soup and give it a creamy quality.

In Morocco evaporated milk is called Lait Concentrate Non-Sucre, and is available in a 160 ml can.

Serves the soup for breakfast or as part of a light evening meal.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups (250 g) barley grits (belboula)
  • 2 liters water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 cups (1/2 liter) milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small can (5 to 6 oz.) evaporated milk


Wash the barley grits several times in a large bowl filled with water, draining each time. Wash until the water is not cloudy.

In a small stock pot mix the barley grits, water, olive oil, salt and cumin. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the soup is thick like porridge and the grains are tender. Stir several times during cooking, and be careful that the heat is not too high or the soup can boil over.

Stir in the milk, and bring to a simmer again for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in the butter and evaporated milk. Taste and add a little salt and olive oil if you feel it needs a little more flavor.


  • Adjust the thickness of the soup to your own preference by increasing or reducing the milk.
  • The soup can also be made without evaporated milk. Substitute one liter of water with one liter of milk, being extra careful not to let the soup boil over. When the barley is cooked, thin the soup by stirring in additional milk. Add the butter, and serve.
  • User Reviews

    Reviews for this section have been closed.

     4 out of 5
    Good but changes needed, Member sonicliz

    Overall a good recipe. My husband said he's never had this soup with cumin before, so I took that out. And he said that it needed to be creamier, so next time I will decrease the water and increase the milk. Also I couldn't rinse and strain it because all of my strainers had holes that were too big. Good recipe to start with and make adjustments as necessary!

    1 out of 1 people found this helpful.

    See all 4 reviews

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