Ash-E Bademjan | Persian Eggplant Soup


Maybe it is just me but, I love Indian, Middle-Eastern and Persian cuisines. Just a notch lower than Italian (pizza of cos!). I am always drawn in by the wonderful combination of spices and herbs. The great thing is most of the dishes are cooked in a pot or a skillet and most of the ingredients are commonly used in any kitchen.

I dare not say that this recipe is 100% authentic; I had researched all over the internet for some Persian recipes and somehow or rather, I took bits and pieces to combine into this soup. Persian cuisine isn't new, it is just not-well-known. I hope I can introduce some Persian dishes to you lovely people this Xmas season.

During Xmas season, I love to wake up to some warm stew or soup with some flatbread on the side. Just the thought of it keeps me cozy in this cold season. I can't find any fresh Kashk or yogurt whey in the place I reside, so I decided to make 1 from scratch. This is a quick and simple way. Please get your hands on whole milk or full fat yogurt. Greek style or low fat will not work. Without much further ado, let's get started with the recipe.

Ingredients:

(Serve 8)

  • Yogurt Whey / Kashk:

  • Whole Milk Yogurt, 1 Cup

  • Sea Salt, 1 TSP

  • Fresh Lemon Juice, 1 TBSP

  • Soup:

  • Eggplant Peeled, 4

  • Olive Oil, 2 TBSP

  • Yellow Onion Finely Minced, 1

  • Garlic Finely Minced, 4 Cloves

  • Turmeric Powder, 1 TSP

  • Vegetable Stock, 5 Cups

  • Green Lentils, 3/4 Cup

  • Chickpeas Drained, 1 Can / 440g

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Black Pepper, Pinch

  • To Serve:

  • Olive Oil, 3 TBSP

  • Yellow Onion Finely Sliced, 1

  • Fresh Mint Coarsely Chopped, 2 TBSP

  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 TSP

  • Whole Milk Yogurt, For Serving

  • Barbari, For Serving

Equipment:

  • Heavy Sauce Pot

  • Cast Iron Skillet/ Pan

Directions:

  1. Please visit my "How To Make Barbari" page for the recipe.

  2. Prepare the kashk.

  3. In a sauce pot over medium heat, add yogurt, salt and lemon juice.

  4. Stir until well combine.

  5. Bring it up to a boil.

  6. *You can see that the whey starts to separate from the milk solids.*

  7. Remove from heat.

  8. Transfer into a strainer lined with cheesecloth over a bowl.

  9. Set aside until all the whey has been drained for about 20 to 30 mins.

  10. Discard the whey.

  11. Transfer the kashk into a bowl and set aside until ready to use.

  12. Prepare the soup.

  13. Coarsely slice the eggplants into slices.

  14. Lightly coat the eggplant slices with salt.

  15. Line them on a wire cooling rack to drain out any liquid.

  16. Set aside for 30 mins.

  17. After 30 mins, you can see some liquid has been drew out from the eggplants.

  18. Pat the eggplant slices dry with kitchen paper.

  19. Coarsely dice the eggplant and set aside.

  20. In a sauce pot over medium heat, add oil.

  21. Once oil start to heat up, add in onion.

  22. Season with salt and pepper.

  23. Saute until caramelized. It should take about 15 to 20 mins.

  24. Add in garlic and turmeric.

  25. Saute until aromatic and well combined.

  26. Deglaze sauce pot with 1 cup of vegetable stock.

  27. Add in lentils, chickpeas and eggplants.

  28. *If you're using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight in water.*

  29. Saute until well combined.

  30. Add in the remaining vegetable stock.

  31. Stir to combine well.

  32. Bring it up to a simmer.

  33. Bring the heat down to low.

  34. Cover and cook for about 20 to 30 mins or until the eggplants are soft, lentils and chickpeas are puffy + tender.

  35. *Stir occasionally to prevent burning.*

  36. Add in kashk.

  37. Stir to combine well.

  38. Continue cooking for another 10 mins.

  39. *Stir occasionally to prevent burning.*

  40. Taste and adjust for final seasoning with salt and pepper.

  41. Remove from heat.

  42. To serve.

  43. In a skillet over medium heat, add oil.

  44. Once oil is heated up, add in onion.

  45. Saute until caramelized.

  46. It should take 15 to 20 mins.

  47. Remove from heat and set aside.

  48. In the same skillet, add mint and turmeric.

  49. Saute until well combine and aromatic.

  50. Remove from heat and set aside.

  51. Ladle the soup into serving bowl.

  52. Garnish with caramelized onion and sauted mint.

  53. Drizzle yogurt over the top.

  54. Serve with barbari.

#persian #eggplant #soup #ashebademjan

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