If you like “food and culture” topic, you will like for sure “A Taste of the Past” podcast on Heritage radio network. Last episode of this show was dedicated to Persian cuisine and I realized that I really don’t know much about cooking traditions in this part of the word. First attempt in Google gave me Eshkeneh onion soup recipe with taste combinations I’ve never tried before. Can you imagine the soup made with chopped mint, onions, tomato and pomegranate? Let’s try it! Here is a recipe.
1 large onion
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons of pomegranate paste (Well, I would like to write “you can substitute it with …” but I can’t because it’s a key ingredient that makes taste of this Eshkeneh variation special and also it’s one of Iranian (Persian) cuisine staples. You can find it in ethnic food shops in your area or try to make it yourself. It’s just a pomegranate juice boiled with sugar and some lemon juice. Recipe.
1 cup of minced walnuts
2 tablespoons of chopped mint (you can use both dry or fresh, but I suggest buying a little bit of dry mint because as soon as you have it on your spice shelf you will have a lot of ideas how to use it. I can’t wait to bake brownies with mint!)
1 teaspoon of turmeric
3 cups of water
salt and black pepper to taste
a bit of olive oil
As it’s an onion soup, everything starts with onion. Fry chopped onion in a pot on medium heat with olive oil until it becomes golden. Be patient and wait until onion becomes really soft as otherwise it will absorb water and become crunchy. When onion is cooked, add salt&pepper with turmeric and stir. Then add mint, tomato paste, pomegranate paste and stir all together. Add walnuts, stir again and then add 3 cups of water. Cook Eshkeneh for 15 minutes more on medium heat in a covered pot. And the last step: crack 2 eggs into the soup and stir them until they are boiled and hard.
I can’t compare Eshkeneh taste to any soups I’ve made before, it’s sour and maybe I will cook it again in autumn or winter as it’s a dish of a cold time of the year