Lebanese Freekeh Soup with Duck and Boletes

Lebanese Freekeh Soup with Duck and Boletes

Although this soup can be made with fresh duck legs, it’s best made using the carcass leftover from roasting a whole duck.

If using duck legs instead, remove the skin from 2 legs (save to render the fat – learn how from Steps 19-22 in this tutorial), then simmer in 8 cups of water for 2 hours. Shred the meat and use the strained broth in the recipe as per directions. 

You can use any dried mushroom for this recipe, but it works best with rich bolete or Suillus species. I used wild painted Suillus and porcini. Dried porcini can be found in many grocery stores and at any Eastern European Delicatessen. 

Freekeh is made from roasted and rubbed green durum wheat and has a delicious nutty, smoky flavour, and a chewy texture like barley. It has been eaten in the Levant and Mediterranean for centuries. It can also be used for salads, soups, or as a side like rice. The grains can be found in some grocery stores and any Middle Eastern grocer, as can baharat spice. You could also make your own!

  • Prep Time30 min
  • Cook Time3 hr 30 min
  • Total Time4 hr
  • Yield4-6 servings


For the Duck Stock

  • 1 duck carcass, raw or cooked (plus wings, legs, etc.)
  • 8 cups water

For the Soup

  • 1 cup dry freekeh, rinsed and soaked (see Step 2)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tablespoons baharat spice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 cups duck stock
  • 1/2 cup dried bolete and/or Suillus mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 cup +/- shredded duck meat


For the Duck Stock


Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place the duck carcass (or legs) on a sheet pan fitted with a wire rack and transfer to the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until everything is golden brown. 

Place the carcass and any drippings into a large pot. Cover with 8 cups of water and bring to a strong simmer. Lower to a light simmer and cook for 3 hours. You’ll want 6 cups in total at the end, so add more water if too much has evaporated.  

Let cool, then strain the liquid through a sieve or colander lined with cheesecloth. Pull off any useable meat from the carcass and shred. Set aside. 

For the Soup


Rinse off the freekeh 3 times under cold running water. Cover with water and let soak for 20 minutes while you prepare the vegetables. 


Add the olive oil to a large pot over medium-high heat.

Add the carrots, onions, and celery and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add the tomato paste, drained freekeh grains, garlic, and spices. Cook stirring for another 3-5 minutes.

Add the broth, dried mushrooms, parsley, salt, and shredded duck meat and bring to a simmer.

Simmer gently for 20 minutes, or until freekeh is very tender. 

Taste for seasoning, then serve, garnished with minced parsley. Enjoy!

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