According to Najmieh Batmanglij, in her wonderful book Food of Life, the Persian word for soup is ash; the cook is ashe-paz, "soup preparer"; and the kitchen is ashe-paz khaneh, "the place where soup is prepared." This provides a clue to the central importance that Persian culture accords soup, which is often shared to seal bonds of friendship and more amorous relationships.
A famous Persian ash is wishing soup, an ad-hoc melange with a peculiarly Persian fairy-tale twist. According to the directions, a person first must decide to make a wish on a certain day and then invite friends to bring a soup ingredient to the wishmaker's house in the morning of the specified day. At noon, everyone returns to share the resulting soup, which somehow helps make the wish come true.
To make the lamb balls, mix all ingredients until well combined. Form into walnut-size balls and set aside.
To make the soup, in a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion over low heat until golden, about 6 minutes. Stir in turmeric, cinnamon, and rice. Cook rice until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add apricots, parsley, and stock. Bring to a boil and add lamb balls. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Add chick peas and cook another 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve garnished with mint leaves.
A GOOD DAY FOR SOUP
by Jeannette Ferrary and Louise Fiszer
Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007
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