This traditional Tunisian soup recipe comes from Hafida's book The Tunisia Cookbook (£25, Nomad Publishing).

Hafida says: "This dish appears on Tunisian dinner tables on almost all 29 nights of Ramadan. It is especially well loved in the fasting month because its hearty ingredients of meat, frik (freekeh) and stock both quench thirst and satisfy hunger."

This is a recipe that Hafida shared as part of her guide to Tunisian cuisine. Check it out to learn about the vibrant and diverse flavours from North Africa, including omek houria (Tunisian carrot salad) and Tunisian chicken tajin. Now discover Iftar events in London.


  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout, crushed with a pestle and mortar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
  • 85g tomato purée
  • 500g lamb or chicken, cut into small pieces
  • 60g freekeh
  • 2 tbsp celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried mint


  • STEP 1

    Mix the garlic and ras el hanout. In a large pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Gently fry the garlic and ras el hanout, onion, paprika, cayenne, tomato purée and some seasoning, and gently fry for 3-4 mins or until fragrant.

  • STEP 2

    Add the lamb or chicken and continue to fry gently – if needed, add a little water to stop the meat sticking to the pan.

  • STEP 3

    When the meat is golden, add the chickpeas and enough water to make a soup – about a litre should be right; you can always add more later on in the cooking process.

  • STEP 4

    Add the freekeh and celery, and lower the heat to simmer for 50 mins-1 hr or until the meat and chickpeas are tender. Check and taste after 30 mins – you may need to add more water or seasoning. When almost ready, add coriander leaves and dried mint. Serve hot with your favourite fresh bread.

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