Moroccan qadra soup with a pigeon and eggs

Moroccan Qadra soup with pigeons or lamb fries


Qadra or Kadra soup is another very old Fassi soup where time is of essence. It a couple of hours in its cooking as the quality of the consommé that which will result from this is what everyone is after. It’s a soothing soup especially for those who feel poorly. Traditionally, Kadra soup of pigeons is what every woman who gave birth should have after giving birth to get some of her power back.

You could add whole shallots or small white onions to the kadra and serve
them unbroken, some like it that way 

Kadra soup can be made using pigeons or lamb testicles especially in the morning of Eid El Kbir (the feast of sacrifice). Both are cooked the same way with the possible addition of potatoes in the later.

While these options for kadra soup might put off some people, just remember that in the old days, people were less judgemental about what to eat and most of all, more appreciative of the bounties of nature. Offals and game were a big thing and for some, they still are, although I feel this kadra recipe with pigeon or with lamb testicle has gone a bit forgotten with the new generation. Pigeons have become quite expensive in Morocco and they get replaced with chicken in many cases, including the famous Bastilla with pigeons.

Basically, kadra soup recipe will use the same set of spices used in all the kadras posted so far. Let’s what this recipe is about.


Serves 6 to 8 persons
Prep: 10 min – Cooking : 60 min

  • 4 pigeons
  • 500g of small white onions and 1 chopped yellow onion (substitute white onions with sliced yellow onions)
  • 2 tbsps of parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp of ground white/black pepper, mixed
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 8 cm tall
  • A good pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 tsp of smen (Moroccan cured and aged butter)
  • 2 tbsps of butter
  • Fresh free range eggs, (1 per person)
  • Water



  • Clean the pigeons and leave them a brine (for 1 l of water use 1 tablespoons  of salt and 2 tablespoons of vinegar, lemon or orange rinds). Leave for 2 hours, rinse thoroughly and drain.
  • You could halve the pigeons whichever way you prefer or even cut them in quarters.
  • If you are using yellow onions, slice them finely and add them in the beginning of the cooking.
    If you are using whole shallots or fresh spring onions with a round bottom, leave them uncut and add them halfway of the cooking process while you should add the chopped onion in the beginning. If the pigeons are cooked through, you could fish them out, cover them and carry on simmering the onions. You could place the pigeons back in the last 5 minutes.
  • Mix all ingredients in a deep pot and cover with water, leaving 1 tablespoon of parsley (ore more) until the end. Cover the pot and cook on medium heat for 60 min.
  • 15 to 10 minutes before the end of the cooking, add butter and the eggs (with shell on) and cook them in the broth. We serve them soft to hard-boiled so it’s a personal choice.
  • Serve hot, each person should have a bit of pigeon and  a whole egg in their bowl.


1- For more texture, you could add a handful of broken vermicelli 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Children seem to like it.

2- It’s important that the pigeons are not more than 5 weeks old otherwise they’ll be tough and won’t cook easily.



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