I first tasted this dish at last month’s book club. It’s a Persian celery-based stew that is typically made with lamb, but our lovely, accommodating host, made a vegan version for those of us who don’t eat meat.
This soup is light and deeply flavorful. It’s composed of celery, mint, and parsley. But my favorite ingredient is the dried lime. It adds a richness, a tangy spice, that is hard to describe. Hold a dried lime to your nose and you’ll see visions of powdered citrus and old, wooden spice cabinets. It’s amazing and is what makes this stew so special.
Ingredients: (Makes about 6 servings)
Slightly adapted from My Persian Kitchen
3 cups of chopped onion (about 2 large onions)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 head of celery, washed and chopped (save the leaves!)
3 cups flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
2 cups fresh mint, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 15 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 dried limes (poke 2 holes in each lime)
32 oz vegetable broth
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
Directions: In a large pot, heat the oil, onions, and garlic. Sauté until translucent.
Add the turmeric and celery and cook for another two minutes.
Add the mint, parsley, celery leaves, beans, and dried limes to the pot.
Add the vegetable broth, cardamom, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir.
Cover with a good fitting lid and simmer for one hour.
Serve as a soup or over rice.
It’s a slow cooking recipe, but worth the time and effort. It travels easily and keeps for up to a week in the fridge (growing more flavorful by the day!).
Trust me on this, you need some dried limes in your life.
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