Chickpea and Freekeh Soup with Harissa

My frenzy over freekeh continues. I only wish I’d known about this stuff sooner! Even just cooked and salted, I could eat this stuff by the bowlful. But the fun really begins when you start thinking of different ways to use it. Since we’re still in the winter temperatures,  I cooked up a whole package of freekeh, and started a pot of soup. I didn’t plan to use it all at once, but since cooked freekeh can be stored in the refrigerator for a week, I’m a step ahead for another meal, too! I didn’t have much direction for the soup to start with, but before I knew it, we were enjoying this flavor-packed soup that warmed us from the inside out.


Chickpea and Freekeh Soup with Harissa

Chickpea and Freekeh Soup with Harissa

Like all soups, this one is flexible. I happened to use 2 cups of chickpeas simply because I’d frozen them in 2 cup portions, but if you’re using canned, just go with 1 can.  I grabbed a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, but any kind of tomato would work, including crushed. Since the recipe has harissa, let me emphasize to cook to your own taste. I’ve tried many kinds and they all vary in heat. Here’s the blueprint so you can build your own soup!

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 large onion, minced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 stalk celery, diced

1 small parsnip, peeled and diced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

4 to 6 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup dry red wine

6 cups water

2 cups cooked chickpeas

1 (14.5 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained

1 cup cooked freekeh (either cracked or whole)

1 to 2 tablespoons harissa (medium or hot), to taste

1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional, to taste

5 ounces baby kale

Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and parsnip. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika, thyme, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, to toast the spices. Add the wine. Stir to deglaze the pot. Add the water, chickpeas, tomatoes,  freekeh, harissa, and liquid smoke. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes.  Stir in the baby kale and for 3 to 4 minutes, until wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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  1. By » Freekeh Kale Salad Vegan Appetite on March 28, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    […] not only nutritious, but nutty and wonderfully tasty, too. This freekeh recipe is tied with the Chickpea Harissa Soup as my favorite freekeh creations… as of today. But it’s so hard to choose! I’ve […]

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