Vegan Chorba Frik, a vegan take on a traditional Algerian tomato-based soup with freekeh and chickpeas. Spiced with harissa and served with a slice of lemon. Popular during the month of Ramadan.
Chorba or Shorba is the Arabic term for stew or thick soup. There are many regional varieties throughout the Middle East and North Africa. In Algeria, Chorba Frik is popular, especially during the month of Ramadan. Made with crushed green wheat called Freekeh or Frik. This is where Chorba Frik gets its name.
Vegan Chorba Frik Ingredients
Harissa is a spiced chilli paste that’s used traditionally in Algerian and other North African cuisines. If you can’t find harissa then you could substitute it for a fresh red chilli and add 1 teaspoon of cumin and paprika to the recipe. Feel free to add more or less harissa depending on the heat level you would prefer in your Chorba Frik.
Freekeh, or frik, is used in North African cuisines and is made with crushed green durum wheat. Frik is in the name of the dish and there is not really a substitute for it. You can still make the soup without it, maybe add some pearl barley or pasta, such as orzo.
Vegan Chorba Frik
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 stick celery diced
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 500 g passata
- 800 ml vegetable stock
- 50 g freekeh
- 400 g tin chickpeas
- 1 small bunch of fresh coriander chopped
- 1 sprig fresh mint chopped
- Salt and black pepper
- Lemon wedges for garnish
- Wash the freekeh and add to a bowl and cover with water to soak. Set aside for later.
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, once hot add the diced onions, celery, carrots, and the minced garlic. Add a good pinch of salt and sweat off the vegetables in the pan until the onions are soft and translucent, around 6 minutes.
- Add the tomato puree and harissa, mix well to coat the vegetables then sauté for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Add the spices, stir to combine and continue to cook for 1 minute.
- Add the passata, drain and rinse the freekeh then add to the pan with the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 25 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the tin of chickpeas then add to the soup with the chopped coriander and mint. Reserve some of the coriander for garnish. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes until the chickpeas are cooked through.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning. The amount of salt needed will depend on the saltiness of the vegetable stock. We added ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper.
- Serve your Chorba Frik with a garnish of fresh coriander and a wedge of lemon to squeeze over before eating.