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Aash-e Anar

Pomegranate soup with meatballs
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 20 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Aash, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: Aash, herbs, meatballs, pomegranate, soup
Servings: 4
Author: Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef

Ingredients

Sabzi (herbs)

  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, thick stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, thick stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup garlic chives or Persian Tarreh, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon, finely chopped

yellow split peas

  • 1/2 cup yellow split peas
  • 3 cups water

Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef, or lamb or turkey
  • 1/2 cup sabzi mixture (herbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Aash

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, adjust to your taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups broth or water, adjust as needed
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses

Garnish

  • 4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Golpar (Persian hog weed), ground (optional)

Instructions

Sabzi (herbs)

  • Chop all the herbs by hand or in in the food processor and set aside.

Yellow split peas

  • Place the yellow split peas and water in a medium sized sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil, uncovered.
  • Lower the flame, cover and gently simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the yellow split peas have softened, but are not fully cooked. Keep an eye on on the yellow split peas as they tend to foam.
  • Strain and set aside.

Meatballs

  • Add all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large mixing bowl with the exception of the oil.
  • Thoroughly mix the meatball ingredients and make meatballs the size of small walnuts.
  • Place the oil in a large frying pan and saute the meatballs over medium heat for about 10 minutes. The meatballs should be lightly browned and have become quite aromatic. Set aside.

Aash

  • In a large pot, saute the onions with olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are lightly browned.
  • Add garlic and turmeric continue to saute for 2 additional minutes.
  • Add the chopped herbs and saute on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. The herbs should turn from bright green to a darker green color. If the herbs are sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a touch more oil.
  • Add the remining ingredients along with the partially cooked yellow split peas and bring to a gentle boil.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
  • Add the meatballs and continue to cook on low heat and covered for another 30 minutes.
  • Check for flavor and consistency. The Aash should be pleasantly tart with some elements of sweetness and the consistency should be that of a thick soup.
  • Pour the mixture into a serving bowl and garnish with pomegranate seeds and Golpar.

Notes

This Aash can easily be adapted to become a vegan friendly meal.  Eliminate the meatballs and increase the yellow split peas to 1 cup cooked in 5 cups of water.