Persian pilgrim’s soup
- April 2015
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 20 minutes, simmering time 1 hour 35 minutes
This vegetarian soup recipe is a traditional Persian dish, hearty enough to be served as a main.
- Vegetarian recipes
- 7.7g (1g saturated)
- 14.5g protein
- 37.5g (5.8g sugars)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 leek, trimmed and chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1.5 litres vegetable stock
- 60g dried moong dal, rinsed and drained (see Know-how)
- 60g dried mung beans (from larger supermarkets or health food shops)
- 250g mix cooked butter beans, chickpeas and kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 200g spinach leaves, washed and dried
- Large bunch fresh flatleaf parsley
- Large bunch fresh coriander
- Small handful fresh dill
- 100g Iranian reshteh noodles (see Know-how), or use dried linguine
- Juice 1 lime
- Soured cream or natural yogurt
- 1 lemon or lime, cut into wedges
- Crispy onions (see tip)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan, then soften the onion gently for around 10 minutes until golden brown. Stir in the leek and garlic, cook for a few minutes, then add the turmeric and heat through to release its aroma. Add the stock, then tip in the moong dal or lentils and the mung beans. Bring back tothe boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour or until the pulses are soft.
- When the lentils are cooked, add the bean and chickpea mix to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Chop the spinach and herbs roughly, then stir them into the soup along with a little more water if it’s looking a bit thick. Bring back to the boil, then drop in the noodles and simmer for 15 minutes moreor until the noodles are cooked. Season with salt and pepper (you may need more salt than you think).
- Add the lime juice, taste and adjust the seasoning, then serve with soured cream/yogurt, wedges of lemon or lime to squeeze and the crispy onions.
A recipe from Out of the Pod by Vicky Jones (£14.89; Ryland Peters & Small)
To make crispy onions, thinly slice 1 onion and pat dry. Toss the sliced onion in 1 tbsp plain flour to coat (best done in a freezer bag). Heat 1cm vegetable oil in a shallow frying pan over a high heat. Fry the onions for 3-4 minutes or until they turn deep golden, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Make the base for this soup up to 3 days in advance, without the spinach, herbs and noodles. Reheat the soup base, chop and add the spinach and herbs, then add the noodles. Cook for 15 minutes more until tender.
Moong dal are small, skinned and split mung beans, available from Indian grocers and some spice shops. If you can’t find them, use red lentils or yellow split peas. Reshteh are Persian wheatflour noodles and are available from Persepolis (foratasteofpersia.co.uk).
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