Hunches in the kitchen should generally not be ignored– this soup is proof of that. It’s a ragtag jumble of ingredients united by a vague feeling that it would somehow be better than the sum of its parts; it was. Serve it with a fork so you can twist the spring onions up against your spoon, spaghetti-style.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 celery stick, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 3 oz(85 g) greenwheat freekeh
- 5 Tbsp (75 ml) dark soy sauce
- 5 cups (1.2 litres) rich chicken or vegetable stock
- 16 large spring onions [scallions]
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup (60 g) roasted, salted cashews, roughly chopped, to serve
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over a low heat and add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Sauté gently for about 10 minutes until everything is softening. Add the freekeh and stir in, then add the soy sauce and cook for a couple of minutes, or until the liquid has reduced right down. Add the stock and increase the heat to medium–high until the soup is boiling, then lower the heat so the soup is simmering, pop a lid on the pan and leave to cook for 15 minutes or so until the freekeh is tender.
- Meanwhile, trim the tops off the spring onions and just trim enough of the bottoms so that you remove the hairy bits, but there’s still enough root to keep them together. Slice them in half lengthways and drizzle with a little olive oil. Brush it all over the onions so they are lightly coated.
- Preheat a griddle pan until very hot and add half of the spring onions. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side, turning with tongs, until they are starting to go dark brown in places, but there’s still plenty of green to be seen. Remove with the tongs and cook the second half of the spring onions.
- Once the soup has had its time, taste it and season with salt (be modest here as the soy is very salty) and pepper. Ladle it into warmed bowls and top each bowl with a quarter of the charred onions. Sprinkle over the cashews to serve.