You are currently browsing the archive for the Soups category.

Tomato Soup with Freekeh Shorbet Banadoura maa Freekeh

This tasty Freekeh Tomato Soup, Shorbet Banadoura maa Freekeh is made simpler and quicker by using ingredients usually found in the store cupboard:  tinned chopped tomatoes, stock cubes, freekeh and dried herbs. It is also versatile because both vegetarians and non-vegetarians can cook it as you could use either vegetable stock or beef stock. More effectively, the addition of freekeh gives it that nice nutty flavour which turns it into a warm comfort soup suitable for a wintery evening. 

Tomato Soup with Freekeh Shorbet Banadoura maa Freekeh

Freekeh Tomato Soup, Shorbet Banadoura maa Freekeh

The Freekeh Tomato Soup recipe described below makes two substantial portions. You can always double the quantity of the ingredients if you want more.

Serves 2

Ingredients for Freekeh Tomato Soup, Shorbet Banadoura maa Freekeh

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes weighing about 400g / 14 oz
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small to medium onion (about 100g/ 4oz) thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • Vegetable or beef stock cubes that will make 450-500ml/ 15 -17 fl oz of stock.
  • 30g / 1¼ oz freekeh whole or cracked: either would do
  • Salt to taste and freshly ground black pepper
  • To garnish (optional), 1or 2 tbsp of freshly chopped herbs such as mint, parsley, coriander, fresh thyme.


  1. I tend to process the chopped tomatoes in the food processor to give the soup a smoother texture, and I do that before cooking. You don’t have to if you don’t want.
  2. Using a medium setting, heat the oil in a medium sized pan then tip in the sliced onions and fry until just softened, a couple of minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute then pour in the processed or chopped tomatoes, mix in the dried mint followed by the stock. Give the mixture a good stir, increase the heat to bring to the boil, then reduce, cover the pan leaving a little gap and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the freekeh, especially if it is a loose one, to get rid of any dirt.
  3. When the simmering time is over, taste the mixture and season to taste then drain the freekeh and stir it in. Increase the heat briefly to bring the soup to the boil then simmer covered for another 15 minutes or more until the freekeh is cooked to your taste, some people like it with a bit of crunch, others don’t.
  4. Check again the seasoning and adjust if necessary, then serve as it is or sprinkle on top your favourite herb.

Enjoy your Freekeh Tomato Soup, Shorbet Banadoura maa Freekeh.

Tags: , , , , , ,

The name of the soup derives from the verb khalata which means, mix things together. In this instance, it refers to the mixing of different pulses or beans together to produce an earthy nourishing soup, great for vegans. The amount given in this recipe is a suggestion, you can vary it according to your liking, you can even omit one of them if you don’t like it and increase the amount of the one you like or substitute it with lentils. Before mixing the beans, I tend to boil them separately because each type takes a different time to soften, especially haricot beans. Alternatively, you can speed up this recipe by using tinned beans, they work well. 


The dried broad beans I use here are the Lebanese ones which I believe have more flavour than others. They have a brownish colour and tend to be plumper but smaller in size than the ones that are usually available in general supermarkets. Tinned broad beans (or Foul Medammas) are also available in Lebanese grocers.  



Serves: 4 – 6




  • 75 g / 3oz chickpeas soaked overnight in water which is three times their volume, stir into that ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75 g / 3 oz haricot beans soaked overnight in water with ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 75 g / 3 oz dried broad beans soaked overnight in water with ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2.25 litres / 4 pints stock made up from the juices of the beans and added water.
  • 75 g / 3 oz green or brown lentils (optional)
  • 20 g /  ¾ oz rice
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions thinly sliced
  • 85 ml / 3 fl oz good brand olive oil
  • Salt to taste and freshly milled black pepper
  • 1tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 30 g / 1oz fresh coriander chopped, you could also substitute it with parsley, chives or freshly chopped spring onions
  • Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle (optional)




  1. Rinse chickpeas, haricot beans and broad beans then place in separate saucepans with three times their volume of water, add 1 tsp salt and bring to boil. Remove the scum, then cover and let them simmer until they begin to feel tender.
  2. When they are ready, drain them but reserve the liquid in a measuring jug, you may need to top it up with water to make up the quantity required.
  3. Heat up the oil in a deep saucepan (preferably non-stick), wide enough to mix all the ingredients, fry the onions for about three minutes, then add the three beans, sauté for a couple of minutes to give them a good coating, season. If you want lentils, you could add them to the mixture at this stage, do likewise if using tinned beans. Pour in the stock (or water if using tinned beans) and bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and let the whole mixture simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, the beans should be really soft, otherwise cook for longer. 
  4. Next, stir in the rice, check again whether you need topping up with hot water. Give the whole thing a good stir, simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the rice is cooked, taste again and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  5. Serve hot with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, scatter generously with chopped coriander or parsley or any herbs of your choice. Delicious with freshly baked crusty bread!

Healthy and easy to prepare, the combination of spinach, kibbeh and coriander give this soup a delicious warming taste. In this recipe, the kibbeh mixture does not need any filling, simply shape it into little patties then fry before dropping them into the simmering soup.


When we were children, we loved these little kibbeh patties on their own, so we used to dip them in yoghurt and eat them, very yummy! 


Serves: 4-6




  • ½ quantity of the kibbeh mixture (See recipe for kibbeh)
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • About 1.2 l / 2 pints beef or vegetable stock
  • 1 medium onion finely sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic peeled and crushed
  • 20g / ¾ oz rice (optional, if you want to make the soup more substantial)
  • 500 gm / 1lb 2 oz spinach washed and chopped
  • 30 gm / 1? oz fresh coriander (rough stalks cut off) washed, and chopped
  • Seasoning: Salt and freshly milled black pepper




  1. Prepare the kibbeh then mould into little patties. Heat up 3tbsp oil and fry them until lightly browned, alternatively deep fry, remove and drain the excess fat on a kitchen paper.
  2. Next, heat up 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and sauté until soft then stir in the garlic and cook for further 1 minute.
  3. Add the beef or vegetable stock to the onions-garlic mixture, bring to boil, (If using rice stir it in and let it simmer for 10 minutes) then add the kibbeh patties followed by spinach. Give the soup a good stir, season and simmer for 10-15 minutes until everything is cooked. A few minutes before the finishing time, add the chopped coriander.
  4. Serve hot. 

Serves: 4-6


Heart warming, this soup is rich and suitable for cold winters. It can be made with balls of kafta or simple meatballs. For the kafta-balls, you need ½ quantity of the kafta mixture (see recipe illustrated in Main Course section).




For meatballs (as a quick alternative to making kafta)


  • 275 g / 10 oz minced lamb / beef 
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil


For soup


  • 1 kg / 2lb 4oz ripe tomatoes or similar amount of tinned Italian chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1.6 litres / 2¾  pints of beef stock
  • 20 g / ¾oz vermicelli broken into small pieces approximately 3 cm / 1¼ inch in length
  • 25 g / 1oz fresh parsley finely chopped


Seasoning: salt, freshly milled black pepper and allspice




  1. Season the minced meat with salt and freshly milled black pepper and ¼ tsp allspice, mix with onions and blitz the mixture. Shape the mixture or kafta into small balls, the size of marbles. Heat up the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the balls until lightly browned. Drain excess fat on a kitchen paper. Keep on the side.
  2. In a heat proof bowl pour boiling water over tomatoes and leave for 1 minute, then discard the water and let them cool down a bit before peeling off the skin. Chop them. Alternatively, use tinned chopped tomatoes.
  3. Heat up the oil in the saucepan soup and sauté the onion until soft, add chopped tomatoes and give it a good stir.
  4. Add beef stock to the tomatoes and onions mixture, season, give it a good stir and check the consistency of the soup. If it is too thick, thin down with water. Bring to the boil then let it simmer for about 30 minutes after which you add the kafta-balls or meatballs followed by vermicelli. Cook for another 10 minutes or until the vermicelli is cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  5. Serve bubbling hot with generous amount of freshly chopped parsley sprinkled on top. 

Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, this soup is easy to make, yet it is deliciously flavoured with simple ingredients, it is also light which makes it an ideal starter. Another thing is that you could make the soup with the whole Swiss chard or, if you like experimenting, use the leaves only for the soup and reserve the stalks for a delicious starter called Dloo bi tahini  (SwissChard Stalks With Tahini Sauce).This recipe is included in the Starters section.

Swiss chard is rich in multiple nutrients and more importantly is suitable for a healthy diet. I included, at the bottom of this recipe, references to 2 websites that will tell you more about it.


Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard

Serves: 4-6




  • 550 g / 1lb¼ oz Swiss chard washed thoroughly. Drain excess water cut off and discard the dirty bottom ends of the stalks, then chop into strips across about 2 cm /  ¾ inch.
  • 150 g / 5oz green lentils rinsed
  • 1 medium onion finely sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
  • 100 ml / 3½ fl oz olive oil
  • 1.75 litres/ 3 pints water 
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice or more to taste
  • Seasoning: salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • Spring onions one onion per person (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (optional)


You also need one medium sized and one large sized deep pan. 




  1. Place lentils in the medium-sized saucepan, cover with water about 800ml / 27 fl oz and a good pinch of salt. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes only, half the cooking time required, then drain them reserving the cooking liquid for the soup.
  2. Meanwhile, heat up half of the olive oil and fry the onions for 3-4 minutes then add half of the crushed garlic and fry for further 1mn. Add Swiss chard into batches coating them with the garlic-onions mixture.
  3. Now add the drained lentils, give the whole thing a good stir, season then add the reserved liquid from the lentils and the remaining water.
  4. Bring to boil and let it simmer for roughly 20 minutes. 5 minutes before the finishing time, stir the lemon juice into the remaining garlic and oil, mix thoroughly and add the mixture to the soup. Taste again and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  5. Serve bubbling hot, and if you like top off with finely chopped spring onions. Some people like a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


You can make it richer. Take 20 g / ¾ oz of plain flour, season and mix with enough water to make a small quantity of dough. Roll out to a thin layer about 2mm/ 1/10 inch and cut it into squares about 2 cm/ ¾  inch or any shape you like and drop them into the Swiss chard mixture as soon as it starts boiling. If you opt for this, increase the amount of water by 300ml/ ½ pint.


Swiss Chard Soup

Swiss Chard Soup