Tabbouleh Soup

Autumn has been faking me out; one day it’s too chilly to eat lunch outside, then the next day I find myself wondering whether I should’ve put on sunscreen before leaving the building. There haven’t been gusts strong enough to inspire a pumpkin recipe or temperatures low enough to prompt a hearty stew, so I’ve kept one foot in the door even as October attempts to shut Summer out.

Tabbouleh Soup

This soup is perfect for the seasonal limbo. A cooling herb salad meets bowl of warm broth and toasted pita. Better yet, it’s as easy as chopping and simmering.

Tabbouleh Soup

Tabbouleh Soup

The base of this soup is tabbouleh (تبولة‎), a refreshing Levantine Arab salad that’s often served as a small-dish mezze. It’s tossed with a lot of quality olive oil and toothsome bulgur wheat, but there’s an undeniably bright quality from all the acidity of tomato and lemon juice (like this fattoush salad I posted when Spring came around).

Tabbouleh Soup

My little parsley plant was nearing the end of its happy days. I couldn’t bring myself to watch it yellow away leaf by leaf, so I decided to let it go out with a flourish—eternalised in a blog post. In the words of Herrick:

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

Or, as my favourite band from “hardcore” preteen years would scream: burn out, not fade away.
Now if only summer would take that advice…

Tabbouleh Soup

Tabbouleh Soup
adapted from this recipe
(serves 4-6)

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley, chopped and divided
  • 1 handful of fresh mint, chopped finely
  • 1-2 lemons, juice of
  • 1 cup cucumber, chopped finely
  • 200g (7oz) cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • whole wheat pita, toasted to serve

Bring water to a boil and pour over the bulgur, covering with a few inches. Allow to sit aside until the water has been absorbed and the bulgur is tender. Strain away remaining liquid.
Heat up olive oil in a stockpot and sauté garlic and onions for a few minutes. Add vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
Add the mint, half of the chopped parsley, and lemon juice gradually to taste (this will vary depending on how much soup stock you want to use). Simmer for 15 minutes and adjust the seasonings to taste, especially if you’ve used homemade stock.
Stir in the tomatoes and cucumbers, allowing to cook gently for another few minutes.
To serve, ladle warm broth over bowls of bulgur and sprinkle with the remaining half of chopped parsley. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper. Lovely with some toasted pita to dip and scoop.

Tabbouleh Soup

Tabbouleh Soup

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31 Responses to Tabbouleh Soup

  1. Genius concept, Irina, I have never thought about having tabbouleh in a soup! It is more like a gazpacho version, right? Gorgeous photos – I love that you took it with pita bread.

  2. You’re amazing! Tabbouleh soup? Yes please! Your first picture is fantastic and I’m glad you got to finish up the parsley – it went to good use here!

  3. Irina, what a gorgeous first photo! It’s like I see that spoon in 3D. So convincing, I want to grab it off the screen and eat your tabbouleh soup, which is, by the way, a brilliant concept!

  4. I just love your photography… I like Tabbouleh and this is such a healthy and beautiful soup!

  5. Such a great idea for a soup! I really like this. Super photos, too. Wonderful post – thanks.

  6. oh my goodness, what a great idea to turn tabbouleh into soup! This sounds amazing :)

  7. What a lovely light soup perfect for easing into fall! Love the herbs and I’ve never tried cucumber in soup.Here’s my chance. Thanks!

  8. Mmmmm I’m in for anything involving pita bread.

  9. Vivienne says:

    The weather seems very temperamental on your end! Summer in the southern hemisphere has started with a bang….already getting dark tan lines!

    Your tabbouleh soup screams wholesomeness and flavours! :)

  10. Monica says:

    Gorgeous photos! And you used that parsley well! : )

  11. Caz says:

    As ever in the UK the weather is giving us the run around. A chilly, grey September followed by a mild and sunny October! The soup looks perfect for the changing seasons and as always the light in your photos is beautiful.

  12. These are the days where bodies are craving these warm you to the core kinda meals. Great recipe. I LOVE tabbouleh!

    .:Marta:.

  13. I love the sound of tabbouleh soup. How enticing is your first photograph! I’m looking for new soup recipes right now….sort of in a “soup rut”, I’ll make this one for sure.

  14. Gorgeous pictures as always! I love Tabbouleh but have never thought of making a soup. So creative and healthy!

  15. Kimberley says:

    I know exactly what you mean about the weather and the kinds of food cravings it brings along with it. I just want it to stay cool so I can dig into the coziest autumn foods.

  16. What a fun twist on a classic, I like the idea of tabbouleh soup very much!

  17. Sissi says:

    I also like tabbouleh a lot, but would never think of making a bulghur soup. It sounds like an excellent light autumn comforting treat. It’s been very cold and cloudy for two days now and I start turning into autumn dishes too… I’m now making some stock to be sure I have nice warming soups during the weekend.

  18. Norma Chang says:

    This soup will be good anytime of the year. Know what you mean by the weather’s ups and downs, hope the warm weather lingers a bit longer.

  19. liz says:

    We never had much of summer so I understand your sentiments completely. The tabbouleh soup looks delicious and your photos are awesome. I love your blog. Its well organized!

  20. I’m very curious to try this out! I make tabbouleh all, all, all the time. It’s so easy, and healthy too. Love the autumn take on it with the soup.

  21. So creative to turn tabbouleh into a soup! I’m hanging on to summer and this sounds incredible!

  22. laurasmess says:

    What a fantastic idea! I never would’ve thought to make tabbouleh into a soup, but the idea of that gorgeous flavoured broth and the pita breads to scoop up the goodness sounds amazing! Perfect for summertime. I’m going to give this a go, soon! xx

  23. What a beautiful soup, the colors are absolutely beautiful. I’m definitely going to give this soup a try, can’t wait!

  24. Trisha says:

    Looks so healthy and wholesome. Would really love to give this a go x

  25. Yelena says:

    Genius soup idea! I do use grains in my soups but never tabbouleh-) Will try it for sure! Looks very healthy and must taste the same!

  26. Hm, I’ve never had this and I’m shaking my head whhhy? This looks and sounds so hearty, nutritious and delicious!

  27. Erika says:

    I would just like to say that that first photo is the most perfectly composed spoonful of soup I’ve ever seen. And this sounds delicious.

  28. Joanne says:

    I love how this has the heartiness of a fall soup but the fresh flavors of summer!

  29. Beautiful recipe and beautiful photos! Also, I love the word “toothsome”

  30. Tabbouleh into soup?! Genius and so delicious, my friend :)

  31. This is so clever; I love making tabbouleh and I extra love the idea of turning it into a soup! (I also like tossing a small handful of chickpeas into my tabbouleh to make it extra hearty, and I’m sure those would go well in this soup format, too!)

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