A Sweet Wheat Recipe from Western Canada

In my home it was traditional to prepare a soup of wheat to dine on for Christmas and other special occasions. 

This delicious sweet food was looked forward to as a traditional holiday dish and one that could be served either before or after the evening meal. The recipe itself comes from very humble beginnings.The origins of this wheat dish began long ago when farming families faced poorer times and would dine on whatever food was left for them to eat. 

My mother’s family came to Canada as third wave immigrants to settle on the prairie provinces of Canada. This wave of immigrants were generally a poorer class of people who fled Europe to escape the effects of World War I. Back then many people lived in rural areas and produced, bartered or traded for their basic food stocks. Like so many other rural people before them times would be lean and food would be in short supply during periods of drought, crop failures, or severe winter months.

It was during the tough winter or in early spring months that these immigrant families would sometimes find only the grains and seeds that were left over from the previous years harvest within their larder. Some of these grains were meant to be used as food for the animals and seed for the next year’s crops. But during the difficult times it was these simple grains and seeds that the people used to sustain their own hunger. You will find the whole grain wheat soup printable recipe below. I hope you give it a try, it really is delicious.


1 cup of soaked wheat
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar or honey 
1 quarter cup of ground poppy seed
Water to fill a large pot


1. Soak wheat overnight to prepare it for use. Cleanse the wheat from the liquid by placing the wheat into a colander and running cold water over it.

2. Place the pre-soaked wheat in a large pot that is three quarters filled with water. Place this on the stove and bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for two to four hours.

3. Add the salt, poppy seed, and your choice of either honey or sugar to sweeten the mixture. This mixture should acquire the texture of soup but will be very sweet to the taste. Continue to simmer for another two to four hours. Add water as necessary. When the wheat is puffy and cracked it is cooked. This whole grain wheat dish is amazingly sweet and tastes almost like a dessert soup. It really is a delicious recipe.

Wondering why the hype over whole grain? It has a wealth of health benefits of course. Wheat is a grass harvested by man for the tiny grains which grow in tiny spikelets from its stalks. Since virtually the dawn of time man has gathered the whole wheat grain to use as a source of food. When in its whole grain state wheat is a nutritious source of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Processing wheat can reduce its nutritional value as it converts this food grain into starch.

Whole grain is in the spikelets of wheat. Wheat grass grows with tiny little spikelets on it. Each of these tiny spikelets contains a single whole grain of whole wheat. This grain is surrounded by a protective shell (or husk as it is more commonly termed) which we often remove in the processing of the whole wheat grain into flour.

Whole wheat grain can be processed in a number of ways. You will probably have noticed these terms on wheat products which you have purchased.Wheat flour can be made in either 100% whole wheat, 60% whole wheat, or any other degree. The more the grain is ground or milled the starchier the end flour will be. The less that the wheat grain is ground the higher its degree of whole wheat remaining will be and the more nutrition and protein the end food product will contain.

Cracked wheat is made when the whole grain is cracked or crushed. Cracked wheat may or may not contain the outer husk. The protective outer husk of a wheat grain is referred to as bran. Much of the wheat grain which we consume is generally through the eating of ground grain which is then made into cereal, bread, cookies, cakes, and other wheat containing food products.

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