When I unpack 'Pomegranate Juice' from my shopping bag into the refrigerator... I told D "Son, I am going to cook something exotic ... so... please, you are not to drink this".
And of course... as teens would normally do, especially the one that is always 'Hungry' all the time.... would always want to have his/her last say....ask "What are you going to cook?'
"Pomegranate Soup' was my short answer. He gave me that 'You are kidding me' look...
This is the first time I cooked 'something' from a Novel... and not a cookbook.
Reading Marsha Mehran's Pomegranate Soup... I was drawn to the characters, story line ... but I was more into the 'happenings' in their kitchen, the feeling was surreal... the smell of chopped onions, mints, parsley, exotic spices used, a pot of soup simmering on the stove... imagine... the exotic aroma billowing from the chimney of her character's kitchen... wafting through the sleepy town in Ballinacroagh, Ireland.
Awww.... She had me at 'Pomegranate Soup'...
Hence, Pomegranate Soup it is....
I was thrilled to be able to re-create the flavours and aroma in my kitchen...
It is one of the best 'humble' soups that I have tasted... It is light, smooth and tangy with burst of flavours... and the crunch of the pomegranate garnishes just 'Seal the Deal'.
Everyone ... including my son who gave me that 'Are you kidding me' look was smitten with the soup... shhh.. ... I even licked my bowl clean
Recipe Serve 4-6
(tweaked and adapted from Marsha Mehran novel 'Pomegranate Soup')
1 red onion ~ chopped1 tablespoon of olive oil1/4 cup of red lentils (washed)2/3 cup of Basmati rice(washed)3 cups of water1/2 teaspoon of tumeric1/4 cup of chopped parsley1 cup of chopped cilantro1/2 cup of chopped mint1/4 cup of chopped spring onion300g minced beef* (rolled into bitesize balls)1 cup of pomegranate juice2 teaspoon of sugar1 tablespoon of lemon juice2 strips of angelica roots or (pre-cut Chinese Dong Quay from Asian grocer)salt and pepperGarnish: 1 tablespoon of fresh pomegranate
- Heat up olive oil in medium size stockpot, add onion and saute until slightly golden.
- Add lentils, basmati rice, water, salt, pepper and tumeric.
- Bring to a quick boil then lower the heat to a simmer, covered, for at 20 minutes.
- Add parsley, mint, cilantro, angelica roots or dong quay and spring onion.
- Simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Add meatballs, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, sugar and season to taste (if needed).
- Stir gently as not to break the meatballs.
- Bring to boil then lower the heat to a simmer, covered, for 25 minutes*.
- Serve with some fresh pomegranate.
Note * ~ I used premium less fat mince. If regular mince is your choice then increase the cooking time to 35-40minutes