Moroccan sweet soup of broken vermicelli with milk - Cha'ariya bel hlib

This is a recipe that can be enjoyed hot as a soup or cold and thickened as a pudding. How about that.

Now I already see some people thinking: what’s with these Moroccans eating sweet soups? It’s not common I understand. But try it first, it’s indulging. It’s also easy and quick to make. It does not require many ingredients.

This soup is a way for me to consume milk because I hate milk! The orange blossom water is helping in this, it hides what I hate in milk: its smell and its after-taste.
I wait until most of the liquid has reduced (absorbed) and that the pasta is creamy tender. That’s the perfect time for me to enjoy it. But my mother and my grandmother love their soup rather runny (well, isn’t it a soup after all?).
If you are not fan of broken vermicelli, you can use broken barley pearls, rolled oat, semolina (fine to medium) or long rice for that matter. But as you know, these ingredients will take more or less time to cook.

I'm linking this post to the Priya's soup event.

Broken vermicelli

Serves 4
Prep: 15 min - Cooking: 15 min

  • 1 ½ l milk - water (2/3 milk  and 1/3 water)
  • 200 g broken vermicelli (angel hair)
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 2 tbsp of sugar (replaced by 1 tbsp of Stevia)
  • 3 tbsp of orange blossom water (not extract)

To serve

  • Good honey, cinnamon


Bring water and milk to a boil. Add butter, salt and sugar.
Wait until the boiling point and fold in the vermicelli. Stir gently to separate the pasta and cook for 10 minutes over low heat (the pasta should be very tender and the liquid slightly reduced at the end).
At the end of cooking, remove from heat and add the orange flower water. Cover and let rest for about 5 minutes to absorb liquid and become softer, stirring occasionally so the milk does not form that ugly crust.

Serve when it is still a little warm with honey and cinnamon.


There are two ways to prepare this soup which  can also be easily converted to dessert (add raisins and chopped toasted almonds for garnish, along with sugar powder and cinnamon).

1 – The simple way is the one I’m proposing today: you heat the liquids, you pour in the pasta and wait for the absorption takes place.
2 - Steaming: cooking pasta in a 2-levels steamer such as “couscoussier” after having massaged the pasta with oil (so it does not stick) and then cook them using the steam in 3 to 4 shots at a rate of 15 min / shot. Each time they are soaked in water, fluffed up and put back into the top of couscousier.  
When the vermicelli is cooked, it is served in bowls and then we pour the milk on top (hot or cold).  
We add coarsly ground almonds, sultanas, powdered sugar, cinnamon and we dig in. Nice pudding.

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