Algerian Red Tomato Soup (Shourba)

Algerian tomato and veggies soup recipe

Algerian tomato and veggies soup recipe

If there is one soup that is eaten in every Algerian home, it is Shourba, a tomato based soup filled with veggies and a grain that makes it hearty and filling. In Ramadan, this soup is the first thing we eat after the initial date and beverage.
Serve it with bourak or kissra for a truly authentic meal.


Bulgur (from Turkish: bulgur; also burghul, from Arabic: برغل‎ bourghoul, "groats") is a cereal food made from the cracked parboiled groats of several different wheat species, most often from durum wheat (Source: Wikipedia)


Algerian Red Soup (Shourba)

This soup tastes even better the next day as the burgul fiber breaks down further and thickens the soup.

by Little G | May 2019

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Inactive time: 0 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Servings: 12


  • 1.5 lbs chuck roast or lamb, cut into 8 ounce pieces (about 3)
  • 1.25 tablespoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons Ras El Hanout
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, 1.5 cup diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced *
  • 2 large tomatoes, ripe red (crush)*
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 5 celery stalk, diced *
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 cup bulgur (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons spoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8.5 cups of water or low sodium vegetable or beef stock
  • 1 lemon
  • Mint fresh or dried
  • 1 hot pepper


  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot(pressure cooker is best) placed on medium heat add olive oil.
  2. Once shimmering add the red onions and crushed garlic. Stir until translucent, 5 minutes.
  3. Add the meat along with the following spices and mix: salt, black pepper, Ras El Hanout, paprika, black pepper and half of the cinnamon. Mix very well and allow the meat to sauté and lightly brown on all sides.
  4. Add tomato paste and mix.
  5. Add crushed tomatoes and half of the cilantro. Stir to mix.
  6. Add the carrots, celery and zucchini. Let them saute until they wilt. 15 minutes.
  7. Add the water or stock and bring to a boil. Lower the temperature so it is simmering. Cover and cook for 1 hour.
  8. Turn off the stove and remove from the heat.
  9. Remove the meat from the soup and set aside. Let the liquid cool slightly.
  10. Using a hand blender(easiest option) blend the soup so it is a smooth liquid consistency.
  11. Cut the meat into small pieces and remove from bone and add back to the soup.
  12. Put back on the stove and bring it to simmer over medium heat.
  13. Add the bulgar and cook for an additional 45 minutes.
  14. Add a few mint leaves, hot peppers and allow to simmer 5 minutes.
  15. Allow the soup to cool down before serving.
  16. Garnish with fresh cilantro and lemon.
  17. Enjoy


  1. We use burgul Zaid brand number 1.
  2. You can also use chicken or eliminate meat completely in this recipe.

Denotes items that we prefer to be organic. Read more about it here: Items to buy organic when grocery shopping.