Maftoul Chicken or Lamb Soup

Maftoul soup with chicken
Maftoul soup with chicken
4.29 from 7 votes

Maftoul Chicken or Lamb Soup

Course Main Course, Soup
Keyword Palestinian Products


  • 2 pounds dark meat chicken or lamb shoulder pieces you can use all drumsticks or a combination of drumsticks and thighs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large fresh tomato pureed
  • 1 tbsp whole allspice berries
  • 1 large minced onion
  • 5 cloves garlic each one sliced in half
  • ½ can tomato paste (3 oz)
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans optional
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups Equal Exchange Maftoul in Middle Eastern markets — can substitute traditional maftoul as well


  1. Put the chicken in a large pot and add about 2 tsp of salt, onions, cinnamon stick, allspice berries, halved garlic cloves and bay leaves. Pour in enough water so that there is at least 5 inches of water above chicken. Place pot on the stovetop over high heat until boiling. Remove any scum that rises to the top with a sieve.
  2. After the water reaches its boiling point, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. Then add tomato paste and tomato puree and let boil for another 25 minutes. Let the soup cool lightly.
  3. Using tongs, scoop out the chicken pieces and set aside in a large bowl. Using a another large stainless steel bowl and large sieve, pour the broth through the sieve and into the bowl to strain out the bay leaves, allspice, cinnamon, and onion. Return the broth back to the pot and reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Add in garbanzo beans, simmering them for another 15 minutes.
  5. In another pot, melt the butter, and then add the two cups of couscous and brown until butter is melted.
  6. Carefully remove 4 cups of tomato chicken broth from the main pot and add to the maftoul. After the maftoul mixture boils, cover and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes. (Cooking time and liquid required may vary depending on type of maftoul, make sure to follow package directions for doneness and add more liquid needed.)
  7. Return chicken to the soup and make sure it is warmed through.
  8. To serve, scoop maftoul into a bowl, and use a soup ladle to pour broth, chickpeas, and meats over maftoul— serve immediately

Recipe Notes

Recipe & photo courtesy of Blanche,


  1. Hilary Elliot | 7th Jul 20

    Hi – it says half a can of tomato paste – but what is the size of the can?

    • Kate Chess | 9th Jul 20

      Thanks for asking, Hilary. Half a 6oz can — 3 oz. We’ll edit the recipe to make that clear.

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