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Freekeh Soup

As the weather gets colder, we all enjoy the aroma of warm soup in our kitchens. I absolutely love this hearty freekeh soup. Its unique nutty flavor will make you fall in love with this soup and soon it'll be a staple in your kitchen as well. The freekeh grains have a distinct flavor that makes this simple soup of only 3 main ingredients extremely delicious! It can be served as an appetizer or as a full meal.

What is Freekeh?

Freekeh is an ancient grain made from green durum wheat. It is then roasted and rubbed to create the unique flavor of freekeh grains. Freekeh may be new to North America, but has been a staple in the Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries.

Superior to many other grains like farro, bulgar or even quinoa - freekeh is low in fat and high in protein and fiber. It is also packed with iron and calcium among other vitamins and minerals.

What you'll need

- Freekeh grains. you can find freekeh at any Middle Eastern grocery store in your area or in the international aisle at your local grocery store.

- Chicken. You can omit chicken to create a vegetarian version of this soup.

- Chicken broth. I usually use the chicken in this recipe to make the broth as well. Braise the chicken first then top with water and aromatics (onion, bay leaves, cardamom and cloves). You can also substitute for vegetable broth or simply water if you wish to create a vegetarian version of this dish.

- Cumin, bay leaf & 7 spices. This is a Middle Eastern multi-purpose spice blend that contains ground spice mix of 7 spices. You can find the 7 spice blend at Middle Eastern grocery stores in your area or in the international aisle at your local grocery store. I've recently spotted some at Costco. The spice blend may differ slightly based on the brand, essentially it will contain a mix of 7 spices from the following: allspice, cinnamon, ground cloves, nutmeg, coriander, cumin, ginger, cardamom, and black pepper

- Instant Pot (optional). This recipe uses an instant pot to make the soup. It's a time saver and you can set it and walk away. However, that is not necessary. You can go make this recipe using a regular pot on your stove, cooking time will be longer. Grains need to be soft and cooked through.

Freekeh Soup


1 large chicken breast, cubed

2 large onions, finely chopped

2 cups freekeh grain

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp 7-spices

6 cups chicken broth

dash of ground cloves

1 bay leaf

salt & pepper to taste


  1. Sift through the freekeh grain and discard any stones or bad grains. Rinse the freekeh grains thoroughly and set aside until ready to use.

  2. In an instant pot, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and set to saute. Add the chicken and half the spices. Cook chicken until slightly browned, remove and set aside.

  3. With the instant pot still set to saute, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the chopped onions. Cook until soft and translucent.

  4. Add the freekeh grains to the onions in the instant pot. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. Add the broth, chicken, bay leaf, remaining spices, salt and pepper to a pot.

  6. Put the lid on the pot and close it. Set the vent to sealing and select the pressure cook option. Set the time to 20 minutes.

  7. Once the 20 minutes are complete, allow for natural release before removing the lid. Quick release if you're in a hurry! Stir, taste and adjust spices or salt if necessary then serve warm.

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