Pomegranate Soup Or The Taste Of Iran
I recently read a book called Pomegranate Soup by Mayo based Iranian born, Marsha Mehran. The author unexpectedly passed away in her home at the young age of 36 back in 2014.
If you haven’t read Pomegranate Soup, I urge you to do so. It’s a delightfully vibrant novel, where three Iranian sisters settle in the fictional Irish village of Ballinacroagh. They charm their way into the heart and the bellies of the locals with their exotic cooking and kind manners. Each chapter of the book starts with a traditional Iranian recipe, each and every one more appealing than the last. The last chapter opens with the recipe for Pomegranate Soup, which has been a recurring presence throughout the book. In fact, the pomegranate soup is nearly a character in its own right. By the time I came to the end of the book, I could nearly smell it and I simply had to try and recreate it.
The pomegranate soup did not disappoint. It is rich and heady with a complex sweet base note and a sharp finish. The only adjustment I made (I can never leave well enough alone) was the addition of a rather generous sprinkling of freshly crushed black pepper.
The recipe below is copied straight from the book.
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- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 0.5 cup yellow split peas, rinsed twice
- 6 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 0.5 tsp ground black pepper (I put at least 5 of those)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 cups fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cups fresh coriander, chopped (no thank you)
- 0.25 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 1 cup fresh spring onions, chopped
- 500g ground lamb
- 0.75 cup rice, rinsed twice
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp angelica powder (optional)
- In a large stock pot, saute the chopped onions in olive oil until golden.
- Add split peas, water, salt, pepper and temeric, bringing it all to a boil.
- Lower heat and simmer, covered for 30 min.
- Add parsley (and the devil’s parsley aka coriander), mint and spring onions.
- Simmer for 15 min.
- Meanwhile, roll ground lamb into medium size meatballs.
- Add meatballs and remaining ingredients to the pot.
- Simmer, covered for 45 min.
Here’s what else I do with pomegranate: Bejeweled Feta Recipe