As you know, I am travelling at the moment, so I thought of asking some of my favourite food blogger friends to come over and share some of their amazing creations with all of you! I told you I would leave you in great company, right? I am double excited about today’s guest: Sawsan from Chef in Disguise. I have known Sawsan since we both started blogging almost 5 years ago and she is one of my closest blogger friends. I love her work and I have learnt a lot from her, especially about Middle Eastern cuisine, but also about bread and pastry making. Besides being a very talented food blogger, she’s also one of the kindest and most supportive people I have known in these years! If you still haven’t visited her site, please go check it out immediately! I know you will love it, just as I do! So, let’s find out what Sawsan has prepared for us today! Thank you so much Sawsan for being here today!
When Manuela asked me to write a guest post for her I was thrilled and honored. You see, Manuela is one of the kindest and most talented people I have ever known. Manuela and I started our blogs a few months apart and through this blogging journey I have come to admire her deep passion and dedication to sharing authentic Italian recipes. Her blog has become my go to reference for everything Italian. But as much as I love Manu’s food creations, it is her kind personality and warm heart that touched me the most through these past few years. She is a true friend, should you ever need one. Always there to support and cheer you on.
When it was time to choose a recipe, I wanted to make something unique for her. Something that I loved, something Middle Eastern. So I decided to make Freekeh soup. One of my all time favorite soup recipes. Easy and nutritious. Nutty and rich and smoky. Comforting without being overwhelming. The perfect balance for a perfect soup.
Although Freekeh (pronounced free-ka) has been recently joined the “super food” club, it has been popular in the Arabic cuisine for centuries. Mainly in the Levantine area and north-east africa. It is used to make soups, pilaf,salads and stuffing for chicken and poultry.
So what exactly is freekeh, you may ask?
Freekeh is roasted green wheat. The grains are harvested while still soft, young and green, then parched, roasted and dried. The process captures and more importantly retains the grains at the state of peak taste and nutrition. Green grains are very different in properties to mature grains. The entire process is natural and only uses fire and air.
Freekeh is higher in protein compared to couscous and appreciably higher compared to white rice. It compares well to other healthy grains such as quinoa and farro. Freekeh has at least four times as much fibre as some other comparable grains, and consists mostly of insoluble fibre. It also has a low glycemic index.
Freekeh comes on one of three sizes: rough, medium and fine. Fine freekeh works best for soups. The medium and rough cut freekeh are better suited for pilafs, salads and stuffings.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 chicken breasts cut into cubes(optional)
- 1 cup fine freekeh
- 4 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
- 1 teaspoon all spice
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- Salt to taste
- In a pot add the olive oil and onions
- Saute the onions over medium low heat until they are transluscent
- Add the chicken breast cubes (if using) and cook until slightly golden brown and cooked through (5- 7 minutes)
- Add the Freekeh and stir for 5 minutes to toast the freekeh slightly
- Add the all spice, cardamom and salt
- Add the chicken stock and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes
- Taste and adjust the salt if needed.