I hope you don’t mind this simple little soup popping into your inbox or feed. I realise that other food bloggers are posting elaborate year-end round ups of their best recipes, and laying out plans for improving blog and blogger. I wish I had got around to the former, to be honest. I will however be making some changes here on food to glow (and probably on myself too). But like most things with me – to paraphrase Loyd Grossman – they have to be deliberated, cogitated and finally digested before coming to fruition. Watch this space. But not too closely: you may be waiting awhile.The soup I will not be changing. It is wholesome, full of flavour, and very January in its feel. A perfect soup to bridge the gap between shedding December’s excess and embracing January’s penitence.
We love the mix of textures and the subtle earthy vibe from the North African spices in this easy, quickly-made soup. It was a huge hit when I first made it for my family. I have used Savoy cabbage – so plentiful and cheap at this time of year. Of course I wanted to use kale – it is still growing in my garden after all – but I know I bang on about kale too much. Use any winter greens that you fancy though. And for that matter, sub out the freekeh for quinoa, amaranth or bulgur wheat if you like, altering the cooking time as needed. And add in cooked pulses such as lentil or chickpeas to give even greater staying power and nutrition. I do that sometimes. So much for not changing anything!
Just a side note, I actually cooked the freekeh in a larger batch and hived off some to add into the soup just before I was ready to serve. But I know it would be easier for most of you to do it as a one-pot recipe, so that is what I have written up. Click on these links to find my recipes for preserved lemons and labneh. Both are in-advance kind of things (the preserved lemons take a month!). If you don’t have them just sitting around waiting to be useful, I have given alternate suggestions.
Other than this soup I have also just made (and we have polished off) my Hoppin’ John, for New Year’s Day luck Southern style. We ate this Creole-spiced black-eye pea soup mixed with another lucky food, sauerkraut – a highly recommended add-in. 😀 What soups are YOU making right now?
Last year: Date-sweetened Carrot and Almond Porridge (love this!)
Two years ago: Tamarind and Shiitake Tofu with Sesame ‘Seaweed’
Miss R’s track of the week: Pinball by Childhood – exclusive vinyl release on January 13 (watch out for the backwards bit and the Pink Floyd bit, post-4 minute mark)
This is a simple cabbage soup given a facelift with cracked freekeh, subtle spices and preserved lemon: healthy, delicious and not in the least penitential. Add potatoes for more heft, but we like it as written, with the smoky freekeh standing in for the usual tuberous addition. Serve with labneh, Greek yogurt or a thick and tasty non-dairy equivalent. As with most soups, quantities of the vegetables aren’t crucial; just use your best judgement if you stray beyond the bounds of the recipe. Enjoy x
Rapeseed/Canola or Olive Oil – 1-2 tbsp
Onion – 1, chopped OR Leeks – 2, white only chopped
Carrot – 1, chopped finely
Cumin seeds, dry-toasted and lightly ground* – 1 tsp
Caraway seeds (or 1/2 tsp fenugreek) – as above
Garlic Clove – 1, minced
Cracked Freekeh – 100g (2/3 cup) OR bulgur wheat or rinsed quinoa
Vegetable (or turkey/chicken) stock – 1 ½ litres (6 1/3 cup)
Savoy or other large green cabbage – chopped (I used about 2/3 of one)
Labneh, Greek yogurt, Non-dairy Yogurt – to stir in for each serving
Preserved Lemon – 1 tbsp chopped per serving, OR Lemon Zest and a little juice
In a large lidded saucepan saute the onions – or leeks – and carrot over a low heat for a few minutes. Add the cumin, caraway, garlic and freekeh. Cook for one minute then add the stock. Bring to the boil then turn down and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chopped cabbage and cook just until the cabbage is going soft – about five minutes. Or longer if you prefer less crunch.
Serve with a dollop of labneh or yogurt and a sprinkle of preserved lemon or zest and juice.
More ideas for to get your freekeh on:
Lebanese Freekeh and Fig Salad (food to glow)
Freekeh, Zucchini and Pistachio Salad (Oh My Veggies)
Sweet Curried Freekeh Salad (Vegan Miam)
A bunch of recipes and cooking advice on Greenwheatfreekeh.com