Spicy Freekeh Soup with Meatballs

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Spicy Freekeh Soup with Meatballs

Course Main Course, Soup
Keyword Palestinian Products


For Soup:

  • 2 Tbsp. Equal Exchange Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut into inch cubes
  • 2 celery stalks cut into inch cubes
  • 3 large tomatoes chopped
  • 2 ½ tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. Baharat spice mix see below
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 Tbsp. superfine sugar
  • 1 cup Equal Exchange Freekeh
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 ¼ cups hot water
  • 1/3 oz cilantro chopped
  • 1 lemon cut into 6 wedges

For Meatballs:

  • 14 oz. ground beef or lamb or a combination of both
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. Equal Exchange Olive Oil

For Baharat Spice Mix:

  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 small cinnamon stick coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp. whole cloves
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 tsp. cumin sedds
  • 1 tsp. cardamom pods
  • ½ whole nutmeg grated


  1. Start with the meatballs. In a large bowl, mix together the meat, onion, parsley, allspice, cinnamon, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper. Using your hands, mix well, then form the mixture into ping-pong-size balls and roll them in the flour; you will get about 15. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and fry the meatballs over medium heat for a few minutes, until golden brown on all sides. Remove the meatballs and set aside.
  2. Wipe out pan with paper towels and add the olive oil for the soup. Over medium heat, fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots and celery and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, sugar, 2 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in the freekeh and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stocks, hot water, and meatballs, Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer very gently for a further 35 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the freekeh is plump and tender. The soup should be quite thick. Reduce or add a little water as needed. Finally taste and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Ladle the hot soup into serving bowls and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve the lemon wedges on the side.

Recipe Notes

From Jerusalem: A Cookbook, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

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