Tempeh Lentil Soup with Freekeh

I know, I’ve brought up the topic of freekeh on my blog before, and I hope you’ve checked it out. But if you haven’t tried it yet, now you can take part in the Whole Grain Sampling Day!  Even that day might be new to you, as it was to me.  It’s a day set aside to encourage all of us to eat more whole grains.

As you might have guessed, I’m taking on freekeh as a personal mission. First off, it’s fun to say! According to what I’ve read, it’s an ancient Middle Eastern grain that is popular in  many regions, with many different pronunciations. I’m taking that to mean you can’t go wrong in how you say it, which adds to the fun factor. The grain comes from young, green wheat, which is sun-dried and rubbed to yield small grains that remind me of barley. It’s available in a whole form and a cracked form. In my experience, they can be used interchangeably, as long as they are cooked according to the package directions. The taste is a little smoky and slightly nutty, and it’s packed with protein and fiber. I’m fortunate in being able to pick it up at Whole Foods locally, but if you can’t, it’s worth buying it online. Check out Freekehlicious  and Freekeh Foods for more information and recipes. And check back here every Friday in March for a new recipe featuring my latest favorite find.

Although Celine and I know our way around most whole grains (yes, we wrote Whole Grain Vegan Baking), it’s always exciting to encounter new vegan ingredients. Join others on April 2nd in trying new whole grains! And join in a discussion on whole grains and Whole Grain Vegan Baking with the Dr. Don Show, Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 6 PM Eastern!


Tempeh Lentil Soup with Freekeh

Tempeh Lentil Soup with Freekeh

Lentil soup is always a favorite, but with a tempeh bacon base layer and the addition of the toothsome freekeh, the lovely lentil soars to new heights.  With soups being such a comfort food, this is an ideal way to try freekeh. Keep in mind that cooked freekeh can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 8 days, making it ideal for quick and easy meals throughout the week.

1 tablespoon high heat neutral-flavored oil

1 (6 ounce) package tempeh bacon, chopped

1/2 medium onion, minced

1 large carrot, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 cup small cauliflower florets

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup French green lentils

6 cups water

2 teaspoons vegan  vegetable bouillon paste

1 tablespoon tamari

1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional

1/2 cup cooked cracked freekeh

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the tempeh bacon and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onion through (and including) the tarragon. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the lentils, water, bouillon paste, tamari, and liquid smoke. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Stir in the freekeh, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley and serve.

Yield: 4 servings



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  1. in2insight
    Posted March 8, 2014 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Even with the Santa Ana winds blowing and temps rather high, I could not pass on making this soup today.
    What a winner!
    Would not have thought to add cauliflower to a lentil soup and it works so well.
    Of course the cherry on the cake goes to the Freekeh. It added a great texture, complements the lentils, and gives the soup an extra boost of smokiness.
    Thanks for sharing this fantastic soup!

  2. Posted March 8, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful, I’m glad you like it! I have a few more freekeh recipes up my sleeve: including my favorite burgers I’ve ever made!

    I had to smile at the Santa Ana winds… it’s snowing here… again!

  3. Posted March 8, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    I will look forward to a burger recipe!

  4. Posted March 9, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I think you’ll like it, Panda! <3

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