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Shared by Léa Karsenty

Saffron Chicken Broth with Toasted Pasta and Vegetables

Yield: 3 quarts, serving 8-12Time: 45 min

Shared by Léa Karsenty

Bowl of chicken soup with pasta noodles in black and white bowl.
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food Stylist: Judy Haubert. Prop Stylist: Vanessa Vazquez.

Saffron Chicken Broth with Toasted Pasta and Vegetables

Yield: 3 quarts, serving 8-12Time: 45 min

Family Journey

Figuig, MoroccoMecheria, AlgeriaOran, Algeria
Toulouse, FranceParis

After engaging in the Kapparot ritual, Léa Karsenty’s grandmother makes this broth with a fresh, whole chicken. Bright with saffron and full of vegetables, herbs and toasted pasta, this soup is hearty and fortifying, an excellent pre-Yom Kippur fast meal.

Read more about Léa's family in "How a Family of Strong Women Spends Yom Kippur in Toulouse," and try their recipes for artichoke heart salad, red chicken loubia, and roasted chicken with cumin and paprika.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 onion, peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric 
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt 
  • 1 (4-5 lb.) whole chicken, including giblets, patted dry 
  • 8-12 cups hot water 
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 leek, halved, rinsed and thinly sliced 
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • Handful fresh cilantro with stems
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • ½ lb. angel hair pasta 
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads 


  • Step 1

    Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the minced onion to the pot and saute until golden, around 5 minutes. Add the black pepper and turmeric to the pot and stir to combine.

  • Step 2

    Add the chicken to the pot and let brown on all sides, turning as needed, 10-12 minutes. Once browned, add the water and salt to the pot. The water should fully cover the chicken.

  • Step 3

    Add the vegetables to the pot. Bring to a boil, then let the soup cook at a boil for 10-15 minutes, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Carefully remove the chicken from the soup (save it for the next recipe, a delightful roasted chicken with cumin) and lower the heat so the broth is simmering.

  • Step 4

    In a frying pan over medium heat, toast the dry angel hair pasta until lightly golden. Remove from the heat and add to the simmering broth, along with the saffron. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked through. Ladle into bowls and serve.