Persian Pomegranate Soup

April 20, 2012

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

Oh .. one more thing... one of the ingredients in Marsha's Pomegranate soup is Angelica Powder. I hadn't a clue to what it was until I Googled... Angelica Sinensis to Persians and it is Dong Quay to Chinese. A 'Female Ginseng' as it benefits women health and well-being here for further information.
There you go, readers... it is a healthy soup too 

There are few more recipes in Marsha's Pomegranate Soup that I would love to give it a go... and perhaps blog about it..

Recipe Serve 4-6
(tweaked and adapted from Marsha Mehran novel 'Pomegranate Soup')
1 red onion ~ chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup of red lentils (washed)
2/3 cup of Basmati rice(washed)
3 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon of tumeric
1/4 cup of chopped parsley
1 cup of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of chopped mint
1/4 cup of chopped spring onion
300g minced beef* (rolled into bitesize balls)
1 cup of pomegranate juice
2 teaspoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 strips of angelica roots or (pre-cut Chinese Dong Quay from Asian grocer)
salt and pepper
Garnish: 1 tablespoon of fresh pomegranate

  1. Heat up olive oil in medium size stockpot, add onion and saute until slightly golden.
  2. Add lentils, basmati rice, water, salt, pepper and tumeric.
  3. Bring to a quick boil then lower the heat to a simmer, covered, for at 20 minutes.
  4. Add parsley, mint, cilantro, angelica roots or dong quay and spring onion.
  5. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
  6. Add meatballs, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, sugar and season to taste (if needed).
  7. Stir gently as not to break the meatballs.
  8. Bring to boil then lower the heat to a simmer, covered, for 25 minutes*.
  9. 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


  1. I love Middle Eastern food and that soup looks amazing! Gorgeous flavors.



  2. You had me intrigued ... dong quay with pomegranate and lemon juice.

  3. Just googled and landed in your blog. You have an amazing space and lots of lovely recipes. Happy to follow you. Please visit my space when time permits.

  4. Wow! Cooking from a novel? That must be a great one! The dish and photos look lovely as always. I really like your watermark, it's so subtle! Very nice!

  5. I'm not familiar with middle eastern food and this looks really appetizing! I'm impressed that you cooked this soup from a novel! Another gorgeous photography, Lisa!

  6. Don't be too hard on your son as I probably would have given you a similar look. ;) The only thing I could think of when hearing Pomegranate Soup was a cold sweet soup, maybe but nothing as hearty as the actual one. Lovely, just like the presentation!

    I did a quick search about the book and find it interesting that there really are recipes included!

  7. Hehe this is brilliant - a soup from a novel :-). It's a whole new trend in literature and cooking. I don't know the novel, but the soup must be amazing, with all these flavors. I think I might try something similar.
    Great post, beautiful pic, as always :-)

  8. Rosa
    Indeed a gorgeous flavours soup :D

    Same here.... very intriguing :)

    Thank you for dropping by my humble kitchen...
    I am hopping to your space now :)

    When i read the book... I was more into the way food is prepared, trying very hard to imagine the taste ;)
    The watermark was designed by my daughter... :)

    There are recipes in the book... And I am a recipe junkie ;)

    T and Teacake
    Thank you :)
    My son loves to tease me when I am cooking something other than his favourite spicy food;)... He enjoys eating and experimenting all the same :D

    Cooking Rookie
    I enjoy promegranate either fresh or in dessert but not savoury... this is new to me too ;)

  9. I am surprised to see dong guai used in Persian soup!

  10. Gorgeous Pictures. Never heard of this soup but scrolling through the ingredients, I knw I will love it. ..especially with those pretty ruby jewels!

  11. tigerfish

    Thank you :)

    Achu's Amma's kitchen
    Welcome to my humble blog :D

    Thank you Tanvi :D