Gazpacho with roasted green wheat

August 22, 2010  •  Category:


Hot muggy weather and people are swearing that this summer has been the worst ever; as a result, the streets of Beirut are deserted on the weekend, with Beirutis fleeing en masse to the beach or the mountains for a brief respite.  Well  I am happy I get to drive in the city when it has been vacated.

A chilled soup; the roasted green wheat or freekeh is an huber-nutritious grain, actually  smoked wheat, once very popular in Lebanon until it was replaced by white rice; freekeh is  experiencing a revival due to its delicious smoky taste and its amazing nutritional benefits (lots of iron and minerals).


  • 3 large heirloom tomatoes
  • water, with a dash of salt and pepper .
  • cut up cucumbers, green peppers, chili pepper
  • dash of red pepper paste
  • one small onion
  • one cup of chopped cilantro
  • juice of a lemon
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 2 cups of cooked freekeh


  1. Peel and cut the tomatoes and place in a blender (one half at a time).
  2. Peel and cut the onion and place in the blender; add the cilantro.
  3. Add some water (about one and a half cup), lemon juice, olive oil, salt, red pepper paste and process to get a smooth but still a bit chunky texture; taste for seasoning. Add the freekeh, mix and serve.

To cook the freekeh:

  1. Soak in water for one hour or longer; drain and make sure no dirt remains or small pebbles. Rinse several times.
  2. Bring double the volume of freekeh to a boil with a dash of salt, add the freekeh and let it simmer for about 20 minutes or until the grains are soft. With a spatula, clean off all the froth that will come up on the surface. Serve.


11 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. ++MIRA++ says:

    freekeh gazpacho, so original! nice 🙂

  2. elra says:

    Delicious and refreshing 🙂

  3. Eve@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    I love a nice gaspacho in the summer. And because of you I bought some freekeh a while back. Thanks for another recipe for it.

  4. Heba says:

    Everyone coming back to the states from summer visits to Lebanon has been talking about the heat and the electricity. They all got really sick too, even though they go to Lebanon often and usually don’t get sick. Hoping it will ease up soon for you guys.

    Your soup looks great, I love Freekeh but don’t make it as often as I should.

  5. Priya says:

    Fabulous looking gaspacho,i dont bother to have some..

  6. shayma says:

    lovely combination. enjoy Beirut. x shayma

  7. joudie kalla says:

    Love this! My mum absolutely adores freekeh. i should make her some when she returns next week from Beirut. Looks Good Joumana.

  8. Joan Nova says:

    Looks good. I like the idea of adding the grain to the gazpacho. Gives it some heft and make it more like a complete meal.

  9. OysterCulture says:

    I’m so intrigued by the freekeh, I have a middle eastern market near me that I hope to get some to make this yummy sounding dish.

  10. Zaatar says:

    I found out the hard way that one must be careful when storing freekeh. I had gotten some Freekeh from my last trip to the Bekaa valley – beautifull light green beans, so soft you could amost eat them raw, smoky just enough…

    Not three months later, I open my mooneh only to find it infested with little black beetles – the infestation was traced back to the Freekeh. I think the freekeh really should be handled differently from other mature, dried beans, especially if it is artisanal.

    Has anyone else had this problem? I have been storing it in the freezer ever since.

    • Joumana says:

      Zaatar: I have had a problem with freekeh and stones! So, I always rinse it carefully; thank you for sharing your experience; I would have loved to try this freekeh; and you are right, much safer to store all grains in the freezer.

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