Khobiza is a Middle Eastern soup made from a leafy vegetable called mallow. It's very similar to mulukhiyah, but with less rice and more soup. I cannot begin to tell you how delicious this nutrient-packed soup is. Maybe it's the fried garlic or leafy greens infused with cilantro all mixed into a homemade flavorful chicken broth. If you don't have access to the leafy green called mallow (khobiza), you can substitute equal parts swiss chard and baby spinach.
What Is Khobiza?
Khobiza is a soup made from mallow leafy greens and a homemade broth. Fried garlic and cooked rice is mixed into the soup making this nutrient-packed soup filling and delicious. This soup looks ugly but tastes delicious. It's a great meal to batch cook and reheat in the microwave.
- Khobiza (mallow): Khobiza is the Arabic word for this leafy green, and in English, it's called mallow. This leafy green might be very difficult to find in the US. If you can't get your hands on leafy mallow, you can substitute half baby spinach greens and half swiss chard leaves in lieu of mallow leaves.
- Cilantro: Use fresh cilantro for this recipe.
- Swiss chard: This green leaf has a lot of added health benefits for this green goddess soup.
- Cooked rice: Any type of rice can be used. I use Calrose rice.
- Garlic: I recommend fresh garlic for this recipe.
- Broth: Use homemade chicken broth, however, store-bought chicken broth works as well. You can also use homemade duck broth. If you would like to make this recipe vegan, you can use vegetable stock.
How to Make Khobiza
Cook the rice first as per the bag instructions. Alternatively, use leftover rice.
Remove the leaves from the mallow (khobiza) plant. Make sure all of the stems have been removed.
Wash the khobiza, cilantro, and swiss chard really well. Fill a large bowl or the sink with water to properly wash the greens. You might need to wash and drain the greens multiple times.
Cook the khobiza, swiss chard, and cilantro together in a large pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Then, drain the greens prior to blending in a food processor.
Blend the cilantro, swiss chard, and khobiza using a food processor. I don't recommend using a blender in order to get the chunky texture of the soup.
Peel and finely mince the garlic. Fry the garlic in olive oil until it reaches a golden brown color. Add the ground coriander in the last minute of frying.
In a large pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the blended greens and cooked rice.
Add the fried garlic to the green goddess soup at the very end.
Tips and Tricks
- Use a homemade broth if possible. I prefer my homemade chicken broth. Also, the whole chicken from the chicken broth is great to serve alongside this recipe.
- Use any type of rice. I prefer to use steamed left over rice.
Substitutions and Variations
- If you can't find fresh mallow leaf, substitute equal parts swiss chard and baby spinach.
- Use store-bought chicken broth or frozen chicken broth.
If you've checked out any of my other recipes on the blog, I really like time-saving hacks. After blending the khobiza, swiss chard, and cilantro in a food processor, store the mixture in a freezer-friendly bag. I batch prepare this recipe and freeze some for a future weeknight meal.
Prepare this recipe in 15 minutes if you have the frozen khobiza greens, some chicken broth (store-bought or homemade), and some cooked rice.
Store the khobiza soup in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Alternatively, freeze the blended greens (without the rice and chicken stock) for up to 9 months.
- Large stovetop pot to boil the leafy mallow greens.
- Strainer to drain the greens.
- Nonstick frying pan to fry the garlic.
- Chef's knife and cutting board to chop the garlic.
Leafy Green Recipes
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Khobiza Mallow Leaf Soup
Prepare the Khobiza Puree
- Take the leaves off of the khobiza plant. Wash the leaves very well.
- Wash and roughly chop the cilantro and swiss chard.
- In a large pot, boil 10 cups of water. Add the washed khobiza leaves, swiss chard, and roughly chopped cilantro. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Drain the cooked khobiza, swiss chard, and cilantro. Using a food processor, blend into a puree.
Make the Khobiza Soup
- Add the chicken broth, khobiza puree, and cooked rice into a pot. Boil on high uncovered for about 7 to 10 minutes.
- In a separate nonstick skillet, add 2 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic. Cook until the garlic starts to become a light to medium brown color. Add the ground coriander and stir the garlic.
- Once the khobiza soup has finished cooking, add the fried garlic on top. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- If khobiza is not available, substitute equal parts swiss chard and baby spinach leaves.
- Khobiza puree can be frozen.
I live in San Francisco and mallow grows as a weed here. And in a local park there is a lot of it. The butterflies need the flowers so I wouldn't take much. But it is actually common in California if you know what this weed looks like. It is not a grocery story green here. In late summer you see a whole lot of big bushy mallows at Crissy Field here.
Oh wow I didn’t know that! I really love the taste of mallow leaves, and this recipe is packed full of greens.
It's hard to find khobiza in the grocery stores! Do you know if there are any frozen options?
That's a really good question... I haven't seen it frozen in stores. I found khobiza at the vegetable souq in Abu Dhabi, and I haven't found it in the US. The good news is that if you find it anywhere, you can make a large amount of it and freeze it. Instructions are in the recipe post for how to do that.