Monday, February 7, 2011

Shorbat Rumman

I've had shorbat rumman, or Iraqi "pomegranate soup," in my recipe queue for quite a while now, and I finally got around to making it.  It interests me for several reasons: I don't think I'd ever had Iraqi food.  I'd never put pomegranate molasses in a savory soup before (though it did go in these Syrian chickpeas with chard).  The recipe seemed to rely equally on herbs and on spices.  It's practically a complete meal in one dish: protein, starch, greens, beets.  And, googling this dish, I was surprised to see how incredibly consistent the recipe is (at least on the internet).  Almost every recipe was the same, plus or minus some lamb.

This is a really unique dish that combines textures (the diced beets are great!) and tastes (pomegranate molasses, cinnamon, and mint!).  (oh hey, beets and pomegranates are also happy together in this salad I made last month). However, if I make it again, I might change a few things.  First, since it looks like the recipe often has lamb in it, too, I found myself wanting more split peas both to bulk up the soup and cut the intensity of the beets, sugar, and pomegranate molasses.  You might think that two tablespoons of pomegranate molasses for six servings isn't very much, but it's a very strong, concentrated flavor.  Next time I'd skip the sugar altogether and just use the pomegranate molasses.

I think you can choose where on the stew-to-soup spectrum you want this dish.  For stew, see top photo.

Shorbat Rumman

olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 c split peas (or more)
4 c vegetable stock
1-2 red beets, peeled and diced, tops reserved and chopped
1/4 cup rice (or more)
1/2 c scallions, sliced
1 TB sugar (omit this?)
1 1/2 TB lime juice
1 TB pomegranate molasses
1/4 c parsley, chopped
1 c spinach, chopped
2 TB cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste
1/2 TB dried mint, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp black pepper mixed for garnish

1. Saute onions in a large sauce pan.  Add split peas, stir, then add stock and simmer one hour.
2. Add beets and rice, cook 30 minutes more.
3. Add scallions, sugar, lime juice, pomolasses, a pinch of salt, and parsley.  Simmer 15 more minutes.
4. Bring to a boil and add spinach and beet greens.  Reduce heat, simmer a few more minutes.  Stir in cilantro, adjust seasonings to taste, then serve, garnishing with the dried mint mixture.  Serves 3-4.


janet @ the taste space said...

Ooh, thanks for your suggestions. This has been on my to-do list (along with your Syrian chickpeas and chard). I made Tropical Vegan's Lentil-Pomegranate Stew with Spinach and Raisins recently, though. I subbed 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses for the 1 cup of pomegranate juice. It was very tart but the leftovers mellowed out nicely. Next time, I may actually try it with the pomegranate juice instead.

Julia said...

I hadn't seen Tropical Vegan's blog before; thanks for alerting me to it. :)