Persian Pea Soup with Pomegranate

Dec 11, 2017
Healthy Eating
Depositphotos_40895915_l-2015|Depositphotos_30851395_l-2015|pea soup with mint

Soup is the Word

A new soup recipe is always a cause for celebration in our house. It’s cold, we just got our first snowfall of the season, and “soup” is the word. I stumbled across a recipe for this lovely pea soup online. The original author is Lisa Turner. As usual I tinkered with it a bit, and here is my adaptation.First a bit of background; this soup hails from Iraq and Iran and is considered an Ash, meaning a thick comforting soup ( it can stand on its own as a meal). If you like a thinner soup, you can always add more broth or water. The flavors are savory with a bit of a kick and the pomegranate seeds give it a sweet and tart burst in your mouth. I always say fresh herbs make everything better, and this dish is loaded with them. We feasted on this recipe for several days, adding a dark, hearty bread. You may also want to add a fresh spinach salad. It’s quite simple and so satisfying.


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 cup green split peas or any type of lentils (rinsed)
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds (lightly crush them to bring out the flavor)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • 6 cups of stock or water
  • ½ cup rinsed white rice
  • ¼ balsamic vinegar (or pomegranate molasses)
  • Big handful of fresh mint (chopped)
  • Big handful of fresh parsley (chopped)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds


  • Swirl olive oil in a big pot on medium heat. Add the onions, then the garlic. After a few minutes, add the peas and let it cook for a couple more minutes.
  • Put in the fennel, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne. Stir it all up.
  • Pour in the stock or water, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook on low until the peas are tender.
  • Add the rice, (make sure you rinse it first) cover the pot and let it cook for about 20 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and balsamic vinegar. I used pomegranate flavored vinegar, the original recipe calls for pomegranate molasses which you can find at Middle Eastern groceries.
  • Take the pot off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Once you put the soup into bowls, then add the final touch- a small handful of fresh pomegranate seeds.

Now all you need is a roaring fire, a loved one or two gathered around, and you are all set.

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