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Egyptian Peeled Wheat Berry Chicken And Chick Pea Soup


1 cup whole wheat berries, peeled soaked overnight
cup dried chick-peas soaked overnight
2 lb whole chicken
2 small beef marrow bones with marrow removed
9 cups water
teaspoon turmeric
lb onions, quartered (2 large onions)
1 large garlic clove
2 small turnips, peeled and halved
2 stalks celery with leaves
2 small carrots
6 sprigs parsley
teaspoon black peppercorns
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon syrian mixed spices or ground allspice


Drain the wheat berries and chick-peas and set aside. To a large, 7-qt. Dutch oven, add the chicken, marrow bones and water. Bring to a boil, skim the surface, then lower the heat and add the turmeric, onions, garlic and turnips. Tie the celery, carrots, parsley and peppercorns in a cheesecloth sack for easy removal and tuck into the pot. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Lift out the chicken, marrow bones and bundle of vegetables. Set the chicken aside to cool and discard the bones and the bag of vegetables. Puree the soup and the remaining vegetables in a food processor in batches, returning each batch to the pot. Bring to a boil again, add the soaked chick-peas and wheat berries, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 45-60 minutes or until the grain and chick-peas are tender. Meanwhile, when the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and the bones and discard them. Tear the chicken meat into large pieces and add to the pot. Add salt. In a small skillet, melt the butter and stir in the Syrian Mixed Spices. Dribble over the soup before serving right from the pot. The spices will float on top, dotting the surface in a polka-dot design. Ladle into soup bowls while the soup is still piping hot.

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