Author Topic: Persian Lamb Soup (or Stew)  (Read 763 times)

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M1911A1

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Persian Lamb Soup (or Stew)
« on: December 31, 2015, 03:50:22 PM »
Persian Lamb Soup is a meal unto itself. The only other thing that is required is bread, and dessert.
The best parts are that my picky eater (Jean) will gleefully scarf it up, and that there are plenty of leftovers for the next day or two.

My recipe calls for quince preserves, which may be hard to find, or expensive. I suggest that two cups of cubed, firm and sweet apple, or a cup-and-a-half of applesauce, will make a good substitute.

We get our lamb from the farm across the street from us. We buy one lamb, slaughtered and dressed, every fall. For my soup, I use a shoulder or leg, which I bone-out and de-fat (saving the suet for our wild birds). The Iranians prefer to use bone-in lamb shanks for this soup, but the four shanks of one lamb are not enough.

1/4 cup oil (I use olive)
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp. ground turmeric
3 pounds of lamb meat (I cube mine, from a leg or shoulder)
10 cups of cold water
20—28 ounces of peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes (I use canned)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups dried lentils
1 scant Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup quince preserves

• In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. In it, sauté the onions until they're transparent and soft. Stir in the turmeric. Then add the cubed lamb (or the chunked-up shanks) and brown it.
• Add the water, tomatoes, and cinnamon to the pot. Bring to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about an hour-and-a-half.
• Add the lentils, salt, and pepper. Simmer for another 30 minutes, to cook the lentils.
• If you used shanks, remove them, shred-off the meat into the pot, and discard the bones.
• Now add the quince preserves, stir it in well, and let the soup simmer for a little while longer.

The Iranians often use chickpeas instead of lentils. They sometimes also use white beans. Instead of quince, and always with chickpeas, they will also use 4 or 5 diced apples and 1/2 cup of pitted, sour cherries, plus up to 3 Tbsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice.
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


"Qui desiderat pacem, præparet bellum."

oldranger53

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Re: Persian Lamb Soup (or Stew)
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2015, 05:44:07 PM »
The street in my hometown that I "grew up" on, is named "Quince".

Truthfully though, I wouldn't know a Quince tree if I saw one!

<Sent from phone. Typos possible.>

Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight, and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be.  One hundred percent and then some.

M1911A1

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Re: Persian Lamb Soup (or Stew)
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2015, 06:35:50 PM »
The quince is a relative of the apple, with the same interior structure as the apple and the pear. Its skin is yellow and fuzzy when it's ripe. However, you can't just pick and eat one: Its flesh is very hard, and a little too sour for pleasure.

Since Persian cooking focusses heavily on the quince, I have to assume that its origins lie there. Persia may be the place-of-origin of the apple, and maybe also of the cherry.

Since the apple was a pick-and-eat fruit, and because it travelled well after being picked, the apple spread all over the Old World, and readily took to the New one (for which, see John Chapman, "Johnny Appleseed").
The quince, needing special treatment, did not spread quite so readily. However, both the Ancient Greeks and the Romans cooked with quinces. (Maybe the quince spread entirely the other way, from northern Greece into Persia, courtesy of Alexander the Great.)

Quince makes terriffic preserves, being sweet (when cooked with sugar), having a complex flavor, and having an interesting texture. It pairs very nicely with cream cheese and English muffins.
Modern Greeks (my ex-in-laws, for instance) make a semi-solid/semi-liquid quince preserve which can be eaten as a relish with meat, or mixed with ice water to make a very refreshing hot-weather drink.

For my 65th birthday, Jean planted a quince tree in our (small) garden. It produces so much fruit that we have to give almost half of it away, every year. Otherwise, we'd be knee-deep in quince preserves.
Steve,
retired leathersmith and practical shooter


"Qui desiderat pacem, præparet bellum."

oldranger53

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Re: Persian Lamb Soup (or Stew)
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2015, 11:03:25 PM »
That sounds divine!

<Sent from phone. Typos possible.>

Never shall I fail my comrades. I will always keep myself mentally alert, physically strong and morally straight, and I will shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it may be.  One hundred percent and then some.