Middle Eastern Vegetable Soup with Freekeh

Winter-Warming Middle Eastern Vegetable Soup

This recipe has lots of vegetables but also packs a punch of flavor. It’s the perfect heart-warming comfort soup to make while it’s cold out or simply to increase your nutrient intake. The best part is you can make a big batch and eat it all week or just freeze it for later! Here are some of my tips for freezing food for another time.

My friend, Pamela Salzman, sent over this soup recipe to add warmth to your day. It’s really healthy and has heaps of veggies!

If you are looking for more recipes to warm up with, try my Winter Comfort Mung Bean Stew. What favorites keep you warm during the winter?

Middle Eastern Vegetable Soup

Servings 6 people


  • 3/4 cup short-grain brown rice or quinoa 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt + more to taste (double if using unsalted stock)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas OR
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 6 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock perferably homemade
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems, chopped optional
  • a few handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice or 1 lemon


  1. Bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the rice or quinoa, lower heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until grains are tender, about 30 to 35 minutes for rice and 10 minutes for quinoa. Set aside.

  2. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic until tender and translucent.

  3. Add the spices, salt, and pepper and cook for a minute or until fragrant.

  4. Add the chickpeas and stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook partially covered until the vegetables are tender, 15-20 minutes. Add the cooked rice or quinoa and turn off the heat.

  5. Add the herbs and spinach and stir until just wilted. Stir in fresh lemon juice and taste for seasoning.

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