Green wheat, also known as "freek" to Algerians, is a young durum wheat that is roasted or smoked just before it reaches maturity. The fact that it is roasted gives it a unique delicious smoky flavor. Besides it's delectable taste, it's also a high-fiber, high-protein grain; more nutrient-rich than many other grains. It is popular in the Arab cuisine and is used in a variety of dishes.
My mother particularly uses "freek" in soup, and this is the savory recipe that she has passed down to me.
Shourba Freek (Green Wheat Soup)
Ingredients:1/4 pound of lamb meat, in chunks1/2 of a carrot, peeled and chopped1/4 of a zucchini squash, chopped1/2 a potato, peeled and chopped2 small onions, peeled and chopped1/2 of a small Italian green pepper (chop 1/2 of it very finely and leave the other as a whole)One small bunch of cilantro, chopped1/4 teaspoon black pepper1/8 teaspoon cinnamon1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil1/4 cup of chickpeas
One 6 oz. can of tomato paste3/4 cup of green wheat (freek)
1/4 cup of tomato sauce
Two small sprigs of mint (leaves only)Wash the meat and add it to the pot. Add the carrot, squash, potato, onions, and pepper. Add 1/2 of the bunch of cilantro, the other half will be added later. Add spices, salt, chickpeas, oil, and saute everything together on low heat for about 5 minutes. Then, add the tomato paste and cover everything with water (The water level should be up to at least half of the saucepan). Turn the stove up to medium/high heat and let the soup come to a boil. When it boils, turn the stove down to low, cover the pot, and let it cook. Stir occasionally so that the vegetables don't stick to the bottom of the pan.
After half an hour, add the green wheat, and in 5 more minutes, add 2 cups of water. Make sure to keep stirring so that the freek doesn't stick to the bottom. After another half an hour, add the tomato sauce, throw in the other half of the green pepper, and add the rest of the chopped cilantro. Add two more cups of water, and cook for about 30-40 more minutes on low heat. As I said earlier, keep stirring and add water AS NEEDED.