Thursday, March 6, 2008

Repent in Leisure - Pomegranate Soup

When a "quick and easy" recipe with dried pomegranate
seeds goes as south as the garbage can you scrape it into, it's
time to swallow your pride with the ubiquitous bottle of Pom.

Neither quick nor particularly easy, a sweetly soured soup
of lentils, rice and greens forces you to stop watching the clock.

Pomegranate Soup - From the recipe


3/4 cup lentils (any kind)
2 tablespoons butter or oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup uncooked rice
1 teaspoon turmeric
8 cups water
1/2 cup whole fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup scallions, chopped
2 cups pomegranate juice [I used twice the amount of the original recipe.]
Juice of 1 large Persian lime [You can omit if you prefer less tartness.]
1 tablespoon dried mint
Salt and pepper to taste
Golden raisins for garnish


Pick over lentils for the occasional bits of debris, then wash them in several changes of clean water. In a very large saucepan or stockpot, sauté the onion in the butter or oil over medium heat until golden and translucent. Add the lentils, rice, turmeric and all the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, simmering until lentils and rice are tender, 30 – 40 minutes. Cooking length also ensures that the turmeric will loose its initial raw, medicinal flavor.

Add the parsley, scallions, and pomegranate juice. Simmer another 15 minutes or until soup reaches your preferred consistency. [I allowed mine to reduce to a light stew.] Add mint and lime juice, stirring to heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with golden raisins. Serves 4. --

After much fiddling with complex flavors, a unique
bowl of restoration and, finally, relaxation.

This post is being submitted to Sra of When My Soup Came Alive, hosting the February AFAM theme of Pomegranate for Maheswari of Beyond the Usual, the creator of the monthly event. Sra was gracious enough to accept my very late entry long after the event had closed. Thank you, Sra!

Been There, Done That ~


Other People's Eats ~



Suganya said...

I have never seen Persian lime in my place. As Wiki says, if they can found in Asian markets, then I have to know its Chinese name :D

sra said...

This is a totally new combination to me again, I'd never have thought of a rice, lentil and pom juice soup. Had a hearty laugh at your intro! Thanks for the entry.

Rosa said...

I love your intriguing soups, Susan! Looks like this one was worth the effort in the end.

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

Susan this is something very new to me..Rice n lentil n pomegranate..Quite a unique combo with great results!!

Johanna said...

This looks fascinating - I am going through a pomegranate phase - well I have one in the fridge I keep meaning to use and I see pomegranates everywhere - was looking at condensed (?) pomegranate juice today - could that be used for this soup?

Asha said...

I sent sra the same soup but with beet added, so it's red!:D
Loved the taste, great entry Susan. Did you see that post of mine? It's in the Feb archive at FH on the sidebar, check it out!:)
I got the 250ml bottle of "Kewra water" y'day, it smells divine. Got to cook something Mughlai after I come back from the break!:)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I can't believe it--I have all of the ingredients (except the Persian lime; I have regular limes), so I can make this! The flavors are intriguing, Susan.

Ann said...

Ooh... looks wonderful! But I want to hear about the attempt with dried pomegranate seeds!

Simona said...

I like the expression 'to go as south as the garbage'. My compost bin is conveniently located south of my stove. I agree with Susan, it is an intriguing combination of flavors.

Mansi Desai said...

wow, now that's a totally new idea! wonder how it tastes, but kudos to you just for making a soup out of a fruit Susan!!:)

pls try to make something too for the WBB-Balanced Breakfasts event I'm hosting this month!:)

Susan said...

Hi, Suganya – Persian limes are the typical limes Americans buy in their markets. Sorry to have added an element of confusion, as that was not my intention. If anything, I wanted to distinguish them from keffir and key limes, knowing that global cooks do not necessarily revolve around the U.S. Any of these limes would work in this recipe, though key lime is sweeter. I have no working knowledge of the keffir; would that I did. : (
Sra – This was novel to me, too, and I laughed like heck (ok, hell) over my intro, as well. Boy, do I hate to waste food! Thanks for allowing the very late entry.
Thank you, Rosa. I wasn’t sure about this recipe, but it did work out. Scott ate nearly all of it, and he is a less adventurous eater than I am.
Hi, Swati! It was new to me, too. Persian food is very different than other Middle-Eastern and Indian cuisines, the ones that, right now, I am more familiar with.
Johanna – It really *was* fascinating. I tried like mad to score a fresh pomegranate for a completely different recipe, but there were NONE in my markets as they had been some weeks ago. Yes, condensed juice (known as molasses) can be used in place of the juice, but given its concentration, you would need less.
Asha – I was surprised this was more green and brown than red, but I think the lentils, parsley, scallions and mint had a lot to do with it. I look forward to learning more about your Mughlai recipe.
Hi, Susan! The flavors are intriguing, but very different, more outré than what I expected, and this coming from me, a very broad-minded American palate. Persian limes, the variety of typical limes found in the States, as opposed to key and keffir limes, are what I used in this recipe.
Ann – Thank you. I had tried to make aloo anardana, an Indian recipe for spiced potatoes. Opting for a recipe that was heavy on the pomegranate seeds to qualify for an event, I did not choose a dish from a respected Indian blogger -- fatal results. I *hated* to have to throw out a pound of perfect baby Red Bliss potatoes. This is the first time I really understand the necessity of tempering spices. The recipe I used did not require tempering.
Thanks, Simona. I have yet to have a kitchen that I can situate the garbage under a cabinet, but you do get the idea. : ) The flavors are very different from what we expect in European and American cuisines, but very much worth considering.

Susan said...

Hi, Mansi. Thanks. I hope to make your event.

Nora B. said...

Oh I'm sorry that the first recipe with dried pomegranate
seeds didn't turn out well. Now you've gotten me curious about these seeds, I wonder if I can find them here.

You Persian soup sounds interesting. I will have to ask my Persian friends (although they are Iranian, they identify themselves as Persian, long story). I've had many delicious Persian meals, one fav is with eggplant. I should try to get the recipe.

have a nice weekend,

Nanditha Prabhu said...

i am sure this soup would have been truly wonder you stopped watching the clock:)

Lisa said...

This sounds amazing. I really love the soups you post here. Hopefully you will find the time to come up with a spicy soup for the next edition of No Croutons Required.

Kelly-Jane said...

We so often especially during the week have to eat food prepared reasonably quickly, but I love long slow food, it feels like I've really done something. This looks delicious and kind of exotic too =)

Lucy said...

Looks rather interesting - all those textures close up.

Richa said...

that is a lovely combination of ingredients! pom must add a very interesting flavor to it!

Toni said...

The idea of playing the lentils against the pomegranite seeds and the lime sounds terrific. It's interesting that you felt it was a little too much. I think I'll talk to a Persian friend of mine and ask her if she's made anything close to this.

Sagari said...

soup looks so hearty susan

Susan said...

Hi, Nora. I will try another dish w/ the dried seeds at some point. I won’t be defeated forever. ; )

Persian food doesn’t get nearly the press that other Middle Eastern cuisines do. Pity. It is quite unique. No surprise that your Iranian friends consider themselves Persian, particularly since Iran was known as Persia until the 30s.
Nanditha – Someday I would like to get rid of clocks the same way I stopped wearing a watch, although I think I would burn the house down when I bake a cake. ; )
Thanks, Lisa. As you know by now, I have posted a new soup recipe for your current event.
Thanks, Kelly-Jane. Slow food puts you in an entirely different mood. I have two crock pots which I never use. I’ll bet they make the best soups, stews and sauces.
Lucy – I must have made it seem like it wasn’t worth the effort save the texture, but it was. My only regret was that I didn’t use pomegranate molasses instead of the juice. It needed the rich tang of the molasses; that’s why I had to double the juice amount, then some lime juice on top of that.
Thank you, Richa. It was a most unusual soup.
Hi, Toni. I used pomegranate juice rather than the seeds. If anything, it wasn’t enough tang for me, a little too sweet, even though I used twice the juice. Adding the lime made it just right, but I still wasn’t sure if my husband would be keen for it. He was.
Thanks, Sagari. Hearty is a perfect description of it.

Katy said...

oh my goodness -- yum!!! i've never seen dried pomegranate seeds, but i will keep my eyes peeled for them from now on!

Shaun said...

Susan, lovie ~ So what were you going to do with the dried pomegranate seeds? I love that you use so much pomegranate juice in this recipe (and one may as well use Pom since pomegranates are not available all year long). I love this soup and may replace some of the juice with pomegranate molasses. I have a great book on Persian cuisine called "The Persian Kitchen" by Neda Afrashi...I hope it isn't too long before we can borrow each other's books and cook together!

Susan said...

Welcome, Katy! I purchased these in Whole Foods. If you come across it ground (called anardana), it is easier to use rather than grinding it yourself. Thanks for visiting!
Hi, Shaun. I was attempting to make aloo anardana, an Indian pan-fried potato dish.

This soup recipe really needed the extra pomegranate juice; I did not think it was excessive at all. I would also use the molasses next time I make it, a great idea. I have "In a Persian Kitchen" by Maideh Mazda. We can compare and contrast! ; ) It would be such fun to cook together!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Yum...I love lentils and although I've never cooked with pomegranate, I believe it's time to start!