Need a one-pot mid-week work lunch full of ancient grains and antioxidants, and just generally brimming with goodness? This simple yet hearty soup is big on texture with the use of freekeh and cavolo nero. Freekeh is young green wheat that has been toasted and cracked. Because the grain is still green and not yet aged, it has more protein and minerals than the more mature grain, making it highly nutritious. Freekeh is known to have four times the fiber found in brown rice which makes it an ideal substitute for rice or pasta on the dinner table (and it’s also low in carbs.) Cavolo nero is an Italian member of the Brassica family. It has deep green textured leaves, almost bordering on black, earning it the nickname of dinosaur kale or black cabbage.
I often cook this soup using a batch of homemade veggie stock. The complete absence of herbs in this warming soup is intentional so that the nutty flavour of freekeh, and the earthiness of the kale, shines through. A topping of fresh turmeric provides added vibrancy and potent nutrients for your insides. If you don’t have fresh turmeric on hand, a tiny bit of grated ginger works well too.
Kale and freekeh soup with turmeric
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Ready in: 35 mins
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek, trimmed and sliced (white part only)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup (225g) dry freekeh
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 100g cavolo nero (Tuscan kale), finely chopped
- 1 tbsp grated fresh turmeric, to serve
- Heat oil in a heavy-based saucepan or flame-proof casserole dish over medium heat. Add leek, garlic and bay leaf. Sauté for a couple of minutes until leek wilts and starts to turn golden.
- Add the freekeh and toast for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the vegetable stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes until freekeh is tender.
- Reduce heat to low. Add chopped kale and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve hot topped with grated turmeric.
Sneh Roy is a food and lifestyle photographer and stylist based in Sydney, Australia. She is the creative force behind the multi-award winning food blog Cook Republic. She is also the author of the Tasty Express cookbook.
Sneh develops recipes, styles and shoots cookbooks and creates content for magazines and food businesses all around the globe. She often conducts pop up workshops to teach food photography and styling from her home studio.