Special dinner tonight, for a very special guest, which unfortunately couldn’t make it. FIrst iranian recipe in my repertoire and I decided to choose a soup.
- 2 onions chopped fine
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp turmeric
- 1/2 cup yellow split peas
- 2 quarts water
- 8 oz lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
- 3 Tbsp each: chopped parsley, cilantro and chives
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
- Chopped fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Chop one of the onions. Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy stock pot. Add the chopped onion, and sauté over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the turmeric, split peas, and 2 quarts of water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the split peas from sticking.
Grate the other onion into a bowl (use the medium holes of a box grater). Add the ground beef, and a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Use your hands to combine the mixture, then form it into small meatballs the size of walnuts. Gently add the meatballs to the soup, and simmer for 10 minutes, turning the meatballs as you stir from time to time.
Add the rice, parsley, cilantro and chives. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender. Mix in the yogurt and lemon juice, and stir to combine.
In a small frying pan, melt the butter over low heat, and sauté the garlic for 30-45 seconds, making sure it does not burn. Stir in the mint just to coat it with the warm garlic, then pour the contents of the frying pan into the soup pot. Taste, adjust with salt and black pepper as needed, and serve hot.