Somali Chicken Soup

4 Servings

50 minutes

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This is our take on maraq cad, the Somali soup known for its finishing touches, which are added at the last moment so they retain bright bold flavor and texture. We were taught how to make it by Somalia native and Massachusetts independent food consultant Nimco Mahamud-Hassan. Serve this soup family style: Bring the pot to the table along with the radishes, cabbage and lime wedges, then have diners fill and garnish their bowls as they like. Offer a simple homemade or storebought hot sauce alongside. Hot steamed rice, added to bowls before the soup is ladled in, is a satisfying addition.




Don't use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Both the bones and skin contribute flavor to the broth.

50 minutes


  • 1

    tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 2

    large yellow onions, chopped


Pooja P.
December 14, 2022
Simple but flavorful soup
Definitely needs the limes as suggested. Was a perfect dinner with some crusty bread on a blustery evening without being overly heavy.
Sarah S.
July 13, 2022
Delish and light
Good flavor, I add more lime juice than it calls for. Add sriacha.
Jonathan M.
December 30, 2022
Completely unseasoned
As is usual with Milk Street recipes, the authors are absolutely terrified of salt. The 1/4 tsp in this recipe leaves the chicken totally unseasoned, and that can't be corrected by adding salt later. That yields a soup that combines beautifully spiced and aromatic broth with utterly bland chicken. What a waste of good ingredients.
Diana L.

I have made this soup several times. It is delicious. I only put 2 chicken breasts (its plenty). I have to skip on Serrano chilies as my kid wont it hot so I add regular green pepper. I add lime at the end but sometimes I add only 1 tablespoon and sometimes 1 and half. I think with 2 tablespoons, it might be too sour.

Cathleen R.

This was delicious! I made it in the instant pot and will definitely make it again!

Laura C.

I agree that 2 chicken breasts is plenty. Flavors are delicious. I would strongly suggest making the berbere sauce to go with it (recipe for sauce is at the end of the soup recipe) as its flavors are really complementary to the soup. I also made the soup with the Milk Street recipe for chicken broth and found it all worked together really well. Let the radish and cabbage wilt slightly in the very hot soup before eating for best texture. I added additional tomatoes to mine.