Mezze & Dolce

Light Mediterranean Meals Paired with Ample Dessert

Mezze: Persian “Minestrone” Soup with Minty Fried Onions

Good final

One of my earliest posts on M & D was a hearty Create-Your-Own Minestrone – a set of basic directions and ingredient guidelines for making YOUR perfect version of this Italian classic. I adapted it from Matk Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, a “choose your own adventure” kind of cookbook that gives home cooks some basic guidance for a recipe, then suggests some creative ways to improvise. Making Spanish braised lentils? Well there are simple ways to make it more Moroccan or add in some citrus notes. Making a bean burger? There are suggestions for swapping in other beans or changing the burger’s regional influence, too.

This soup, adapted from Louisa Shafia’s The New Persian Kitchen is a kind of Create-Your-Own Persian “Minestrone” – a big pot of whatever beans, greens, pasta, and broth you want. The soup is infused with typical Persian spices and herbs like golden turmeric, earthy dill, and bright, perky mint. But this soup has an extra indulgence that Italian minestrone lacks – sweet fried onions piled high on top, sprinkled with some more fresh mint. Like most of Shafia’s recipes, this adapted version of her Bean, Herb, and Noodle soup is hearty, healthy, and ready for your experimentation. Now choose your own adventure, and get cooking!  –jaime

Ingredients
Makes 4-6 servings

~Persian “Minestrone” Soup~
1 small onion
1 1/2 tablespoon oil (She recommends grapeseed, but I used olive, and it was fine)
2 cans beans of your choice (I used what was in my cupboard – chickpeas and cannellinis)
1/4 cup brown lentils
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 heaping tablespoons dried dill
1/2 heaping tablespoon dried mint
6 cups broth of your choice (I used chicken)
3 ounces pasta of your choice (I used cappelini – if you’re using long pasta like that, break it into thirds)
1 1/2 cups sturdy greens like kale, chard or spinach, chopped
A scant 1/4 cup lemon juice

~Minty Fried Onions~
3 tablespoons oil
1 medium yellow onion
1 heaping tablespoon dried mint

Directions
~Persian Minestrone Soup~

1. Dice the small onion. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute 10 minutes or until the onions start to brown.

2. Stir in your 2 cans of beans and the lentils, as well as the garlic, turmeric, dill, and 1/2 tablespoon mint.

3. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the soup, and simmer on low for a half hour.

4. Add the noodles, greens, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring well. Cook another 20 minutes on low, tasting the noodles to make sure they’re tender.

5. Add the lemon juice, and season to taste.

~Minty Fried Onions~

1. Slice the medium-sized onion into thin half-moons. Heat a medium skillet over high heat with 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onion and fry until golden, making sure to stir frequently so the onions don’t stick to the pan.

2. Add the tablespoon of mint and stir for another two minutes. Remove from the heat and place a scoop of onions on each bowl of soup!

Good onions

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2 comments on “Mezze: Persian “Minestrone” Soup with Minty Fried Onions

  1. Pingback: Inspiration: “New Persian Kitchen” Cookbook | Mezze & Dolce

  2. Pingback: Our Favorite Recipes from 2013 | Mezze & Dolce

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This entry was posted on September 24, 2013 by in Appetizers/Dips, Legumes, Mezze, Soups and tagged , , , , , , .

About Jacque & Jaime

Jaime and Jacque are two gals who discovered a mutual passion for Mediterranean flavors and ingredients and never turned back. They started Mezze & Dolce to share this love, their recipes, and their inspirations with the world. Follow them at www.mezzeanddolce.com.

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