Zaza’s Soup – 3rd Mediterranean Cooking Event, Lebanon

I don’t know where this soup originated from, but I know it was cooked at my aunt’s household. My uncle was Armenian and his sister cooked this soup, so we named it after her: Zaza’s Soup. Maybe the soup is a mix of Armenian and Lebanese, even though the event is for Lebanese cooking, I think this soup characterizes the spirit of Lebanon and its diversity. Not to mention it is a delicious soup that I hope those who will try will enjoy.

Zaza’s Soup

Serves 6 to 8 people


  • 1 big onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 l water
  • 400 g meat cut in cubes
  • 1 cup chickpeas half cooked
  • 500 g Kibbeh
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Dried mint to taste

Ingredients for Kibbeh:

  • 500 g  lean meat
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 ½ cups Bulgur (washed and drained from water)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Put the onion, salt and pepper in food processor and grind. When finely ground, add the meat and grind finely. Add washed bulgur and grind till you get a soft paste.

Make traditional Kibbeh shape or balls of 2cm. Keep in fridge, in a sealed container till ready to use.


  1. Sauté the onion in the olive oil till golden brown.
  2. Add the meat cubes, salt, pepper and pinch of cinnamon and cook till brown.
  3. Add the chickpeas, the bay leaf, the cinnamon stick, the tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 min.
  4. Add the Kibbeh balls and cook all for about 15 min.
  5. Combine the lemon, the crushed garlic and the dried mint and add to pot. Boil for about 5 min.

Vote for this recipe:

2nd cooking event mediterranean food - LEBANON - tobias cooks! -  10.12.2009-10.01.2010

26 responses to “Zaza’s Soup – 3rd Mediterranean Cooking Event, Lebanon

  1. Pingback: And the winner is…3rd mediterranean cooking event – Lebanon » Through, Journey, Culinary, Kitchen, Syria, Lebanon » tobias cooks!

  2. Okay, I’m making this soup next week, while my wife the Salad Queen (read: rabbit food vegetarian) is out of town. Me and my kids will LOVE it. Thanks!

    • Well I am more of a vegetarian than a meat eater, I actually eat the Kibbeh and leave out the regular meat (insert blushing face here), but this soup rocks! Tell me how it comes out.

  3. You’ve got my vote, Viviane. Looks great!

  4. This looks delicious! You’ve got my vote!

  5. Scrumptioous and comforting and warm and filled with goodly ingredients. Will vote.

  6. Interesting recipe, I’m voting for you!

  7. Sorry about that, I found it already. :D

  8. By the way, I’m not sure how I can vote..

  9. That looks incredible, so heartwarming and comforting.

  10. Gosh! I love this recipe! I’m voting for you!
    Cheers, PT
    You can visit me at

  11. what a great soup in the winter time, looks delicious

  12. A very interesting combination. Thanks for an interesting recipe.

    • @ Carol Egbert: Thanks for visiting :)
      @TasteofBeirut: I cannot say I have had a lot of Armenian food, but I did like what I had. They have awesome Lahem bi Aajin and they are the best at making sausage and sojok! The soup is great, it has been a while since we made, I dunno why it came to mind when I read about the event!

  13. Wow! This soup is probably a mix of Armenian and Lebanese but it sure looks great! By the way, I love Armenian cuisine and think it is not given its due credit.

  14. Thanks Viviane for the explanation re kibbeh, now have a vague idea.

  15. Nothing better than a nice, hot soup in winter. Looks delicious! Great you made it in time.

    Best regards

  16. This soup looks interesting. By the way, what’s Kibbeh?

    • Kibbeh is a mix of meat and cracked durum wheat called burghul or bulgur. I have included the recipe within the soup, and to learn more about bulgur visit our ingredient’s page. Thanks for stopping by and reading :)