A thick and comforting vegan freekeh soup without oil. Made with hidden vegetables that have been simmered in a spiced broth.
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What is Freekeh?
Freekeh is a popular Middle Eastern ancient grain that has been around for centuries.
Its exact origins are unclear.
However, it is believed to have originated in the Levant region.
It is made from young green wheat that is roasted and cracked. This process gives the grain a slightly smoky flavor and a chewy texture.
Freekeh is packed with nutrients, including protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. It does contain gluten.
There are many ways freekeh is cooked including as a pilaf, instead of rice.
In a salad or in soups such as this Lebanese freekeh soup with vegetables.
Freekeh is also known as freek or freeka.
What does Freekeh taste like?
Freekeh boasts a flavor that's unique.
It's a medley of nuttiness, smokiness, and earthiness all wrapped up in a chewy, hearty texture with just a hint of sweetness.
The roasting process it undergoes gives it a distinctive smoky aroma.
You can think of its flavor as being like bulgur wheat or farro, but with an extra dose of smokiness.
🥣 Why You’ll Love this Recipe
- Simple, no need to saute, just chop and drop
- Very delicious and comforting
- Freekeh is a nutritious and filling grain that will keep you feeling satisfied.
- The vegetables are hidden, perfect for fussy eaters who avoid veggies.
- This recipe accommodates anyone looking for a vegan and oil-free meal option. It is also corn free and soy free.
🥄 Ingredients You’ll Need
Notes on some of the ingredients, the full list of ingredients and their measurements can be found in the recipe card below.
Freekeh is a wheat grain and is the star of this soup. It can be found at some local supermarket or at your local Middle Eastern grocer or it can be purchased online here (affiliate link).
Brown Onion, carrot, celery and mushrooms will add a savory and mild sweet flavor, these will be roughly chopped boiled and then blended with water.
With the mushrooms, feel free to use your favorite type. I prefer shitake, but at the time of photoraphing this recipe, I couldn't find any in the stores.
Tip: the type of mushroom you use may affect the color of your soup.
Bay Leaves, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, ground caraway, salt and cayenne pepper are the aromatics, a combination of warming, sweet, spicy flavors.
Tip: cayenne pepper is quite spicy use this to suit your taste.
Lebanese 7 Spice is a spice blend widely used in Lebanese cooking that adds a complex and robust flavor.
This blend can easily be made at home using this Lebanese 7 spice recipe or it can be purchased online here (affiliate link).
🥣 How to Make Vegan Freekeh Soup Without Oil
Step One - Rinse and soak the freekeh.
Step Two - In a large pot, add the onions, carrot, celery, mushrooms, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, cayenne pepper, caraway, Lebanese 7 spice, salt, and four cups of water.
Bring to a boil on high heat, then turn the heat down to low-medium and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid on.
Step Three - Turn off the heat, and take out the bay leaves, cardamon pods, cloves, and cinnamon stick.
Use an immersion blender (affiliate link) to blend the vegetables into a thick liquid.
Drain the freekeh and add it to the vegetable liquid. Stir it through, add an additional four cups of water, adjust the salt as required by doing a taste test.
Step Four - Cover with a lid and bring to gentle a boil on high heat, then reduce to a low-medium and simmer for 20 minutes or until the freekeh is tender. Serve warm.
Tip: freekeh should be soft to bite but chewy.
🥄 Serving Suggestions
I like to add shredded young jackfruit through the soup. Traditionally, Lebanese freekeh soup is made mostly with chicken.
Top with freshly cut onions or roasted chickpeas for added crunch and flavor.
Serve with a side of crusty bread.
Garnish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro.
Add a squeeze of lemon for added brightness.
Serve freekeh soup with a side of salad, like this tomato and onion salad or this maflouf salad (cabbage)
Yes, freekeh soup can be frozen. Allow it to cool down to room temperature before transferring it to an air tight container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Similar recipes include curried barley porridge, Lebanese lentil soup.
Or try my delicious tomato bulgur pilav (a grain pilaf), or mujadara hamra (a lentil and grain pilaf)
Did you enjoy making this vegan recipe? I would love to hear from you, leave me a comment below and give me a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating. This will help me sustain Plant Based Folk.
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Vegan Freekeh Soup Without Oil
- 1 cup Freekeh rinsed
- 8 cups Water for soup
- 1 medium Onion roughly chopped
- 1 medium Carrot roughly chopped
- 1 large Celery rib roughly chopped
- 1 cup Mushrooms roughly chopped
- 2 Bay leaves
- 5 Cloves
- 1 Cinnamon stick
- 5 Cardamon pods
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon Lebanese 7 spice sub. allspice
- ½ teaspoon Caraway
- 1 tablespoon Salt
- 3 cups Water for soaking
- Rinse and soak the freekeh (whilst the broth simmers).1 cup Freekeh, 3 cups Water
- In a large pot, add the onions, carrot, celery, mushrooms, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, cayenne pepper, caraway, Lebanese 7 spice, salt and four cups of water. Bring to a boil on high heat, then turn the heat down to low-medium and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on.8 cups Water, 1 medium Onion, 1 medium Carrot, 1 large Celery rib, 2 Bay leaves, 5 Cloves, 1 Cinnamon stick, 5 Cardamon pods, ¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper, ½ teaspoon Lebanese 7 spice, ½ teaspoon Caraway, 1 tablespoon Salt, 1 cup Mushrooms
- Turn off the heat, and take out the bay leaves, cardamon pods, cloves and cinnamon stick. Use an immersion blender to blend the vegetables into a thick liquid. Drain the freekeh and add it to the vegetable liquid. Stir it through, add the remaining four cups of water, and adjust the salt as required by doing a taste test.
- Cover the ingredients and bring to gentle a boil on high heat, then reduce to a low-medium and simmer for 15 minutes or until the freekeh is tender. Serve warm.
N.B., nutrition info is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. This will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.
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