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Freekeh Soup

Lebanese freekeh soup recipe with chicken

Course Soup
Cuisine Lebanese
Keyword Authentic, Chicken, Healthy
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6
Author Zaatar and Zaytoun


For the chicken broth

  • 1 quartered baby chicken or 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 1 onion peeled halved
  • 1 carrot peeled
  • 2-3 cardamom pods
  • 5-7 black peppercorns
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • 1 tbsp of salt

For the soup

  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 cups freekeh
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp 7 spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter


To make the chicken broth

  1. Flash fry the quartered chicken on high heat in a nonstick pan with a little regular olive oil for a few minutes
  2. Transfer to a large stock pot and add the peeled onion, carrot, cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and salt
  3. Boil around 1.5 litres of water in a kettle and add to the chicken pot. Bring to the boil again for a few minutes then simmer for around 45 minutes
  4. Once the stock has finished simmering, take out the chicken pieces and shred the meat. Cover and set aside
  5. Pass the remaining liquid through a fine sieve and set the clear broth aside.

To prepare the soup

  1. Clean the freekeh by sifting the grains on a tray with your fingers several times over making sure to remove any small stones or rubble
  2. Wash the freekeh several times and soak in some warm water for half an hour before cooking
  3. Sauté the chopped onions in about 3-4 tbsp of regular olive oil on medium heat until golden
  4. Drain the freekeh using a fine sieve and add to the onions along with the spices (black pepper, turmeric, 7 spice, ground cardamom).
  5. Sauté for five minutes and then add the clear chicken broth and bring to the boil

  6. Simmer for around 20 minutes then add the shredded chicken for the last ten minutes
  7. Taste the soup to make sure the freekeh is well cooked and adjust the salt and water levels if necessary

  8. Add a tablespoon of butter just before you turn the heat off, making sure you stir well.