This is a simple and nutritious soup that you can be put together almost at the last minute — if you have a can of chickpea and some bulgur wheat hanging around. If you don’t, a can of beans and other grains, such as farro and freekeh, or rice, would work as well. Like any soup, the widest category of foods can be included. As long as there’s enough fluid to eat with a spoon, it is a soup. And anything goes!
Bulgur is considered whole grain. It is usually sold parboiled and dried, with only a very small amount of the bran partially removed. Its high nutritional value makes it a good substitute for rice or couscous. Texture wise, it is more like couscous than rice. Compared to unenriched white rice, bulgur has more fiber and protein, a lower glycemic index, and higher levels of most vitamins and minerals.
This soup is convenient to make and uses mostly everyday items you already have in the fridge or pantry. Gather the aromatics: onions, carrots and stalks of celery. Line up the spices: cumin, coriander and caraway seeds. You are ready to go. This soup is tasty given the heat from harissa that can be dialed up or down based on your desired taste. The spiciness of this soup makes it so much more interesting from a flavor balance perspective. It tickles my taste buds and elevates the soup from an everyday comfort variety to something remarkable.
This recipe is adapted from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. He suggests serving the soup with a creamed feta paste. I also see adding Parmesan cheese as an alternative savory component to the soup.
This soup and a salad dish are joining the April potluck party at IHCC. There will be many interesting dishes on the table from other IHCC participants. Please make a visit.