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Azerbaijani Pomegranate and Spinach Soup

This is popular all over from Tabriz in Iran to Samarkand in Uzbekistan.

Servings: 4


· 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil

· 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds

· 2 large onions, peeled and thin sliced

· 2 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled

· 1/3cup of yellow split pees

· ½ cup of brown lentils

· 4 cups of vegetable stock or water

· 4 cups of pomegranate juice or 1 cup pomegranate paste diluted in 4 cups of water

· 2 teaspoons of salt

· 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

· ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon

· 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)

· 1 tablespoon of angelica powder

· 1 pound baby spinach, washed and drained

· 1 cup of chopped fresh dill

· 1 cup of chopped fresh parsley

· 1 cup of fresh mint leaves, shredded, or 2 teaspoons dried mint

· ½ cup of rice, picked over and rinsed


· 1 teaspoon of dried mint flakes

· 1 cup of pomegranate seeds (one large pomegranate)

· 1 teaspoon of ground angelica petals

· ¼ cup of toasted, coarsely chopped walnuts or pine nuts (optional)


1- Hit 4 tablespoons oil in a medium-sized, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the cumin, and stir fry for 20 seconds until aromatic. Add the onion and garlic, and stir fry for 10 minutes. Add split peas and lentils, and stir fry for 3 minutes longer at the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer over medium heat for 20minutes.

2- Stir in the pomegranate juice, salt, pepper, cinnamon, sugar, angelica powder, spinach, dill, parsley, Mint and rice. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

3- Adjust seasoning to taste; the soup should be sweet and sour.

4- Pour the soup into a tureen and garnish with the mint flakes, pomegranate seeds and angelica.

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