Iraqi Pomegranate Soup
- 8 cups water
- 1 pound lamb shanks or other lesser cuts of lamb and bone
- 1/2 cup yellow split peas
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 3 beets with green tops
- 1/2 cup rice
- 1 bunch of scallions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate concentrate or1 cup pomegranate juice*
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 cups spinach, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon dried mint, crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* Pomegranate concentrate is called "molasses" or "paste."
Make pomegranate juice by rolling an uncut fresh pomegranate hard underfoot on the
floor, then making an incision and "squeezing" it over a juicer.
- Bring the water to a boil in a large pot, then stir in the lamb, split peas and
onion. Skim where necessary, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for an hour.
- Meanwhile, wash the beet tops and spinach, slice finely and chop, wrap in paper
towels, and crisp until needed. Also peel the beets and chop into a small dice.
Also prepare the mint/cinnamon/pepper garnish in a separate bowl.
- When the lamb broth is ready, add the beets and rice and cook another 30 minutes.
- Remove the lamb from the pot. Cut away the bones and fat, shred the meat, and
return to the pot. Add the scallions, sugar, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, parsley,
and either the pomegranate concentrate or the pomegranate juice. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- When ready to serve, bring the soup to a boil and stir in the beet greens and
spinach. Let wilt, while stirring for a minute or two, then stir in cilantro, more
lime juice, as needed, and seasonings.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the Garnish.
- Garnish: Mix together.