Cracked barley (large barley grits, or dchicha) is used to make this savory, porridge-like Moroccan soup. It's best served immediately after cooking, as the barley will continue to swell and thicken as the soup sits. Add water (and a little more seasoning if desired) to thin the soup when reheating.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- 1 1/2 cups (250 g) cracked barley (large barley grits)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 or 3 tomatoes, grated
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 liters water
- 1/2 teaspoon smen (optional)
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley and/or cilantro
Wash the cracked barley several times in large bowls of water until the water runs clear. Drain the barley.
Place the barley, onion, tomatoes, oil, butter and seasoning in a pot. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer the soup, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chopped parsley and cilantro (and a little more water if the soup seems to be thickening too quickly) and continue simmering for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the barley is tender.
Serve the soup immediately, adding additional salt and butter to taste.