Recipe for Ash Sak (Lamb And Spinach Soup With Meatballs)


1 soup:
3 lb meat lamb bones; sawed, not
1 ; chopped, into 2 inch long
1 ; pieces
6 cup water
1/2 lb spinach, fresh; washed,
1 ; trimmed and finely choppe
1 ; or 10 oz. pk chopped froz
1 ; spinach, defrosted
2 cup parsley; finely chopped and
1 ; preferably flat leaf
1 cup onion; coarsely chopped
1/2 cup iranian rice; or other long
1 ; grain rice, raw, soaked a
1 ; drained
1 tablespoon dill, fresh; finely cut or
1 ; 1 teaspoon dried dill wee
4 teaspoon salt
1 black pepper; freshly ground
1/2 cup yellow split peas, dried
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 .
1 meatballs:
1/2 lb lean ground lamb
2 tablespoon iranian rice; or raw, long
1 ; grain rice, as noted abov
2 tablespoon parsley; finely chopped
1 tablespoon yellow split peas, dried
1 teaspoon onion; finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 .
1 garnish:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 medium onion; peeled and cut into
1 ; 1/4 inch thick slices
6 tablespoon butter
4 tablespoon mint, fresh; finely cut or 2
1 ; tablespoons dried mint
2 teaspoon turmeric
2 cup yoghurt, unflavored; at room
1 ; temperature


Soup: In a heavy 8 to 10 quart casserole, combine the lamb bones and water and bring to a boil over high heat, meanwhile skimming off the foam and scum as they rise to the surface. Then stir in the spinach, the 2 cups of parsley, 1 cup of onions, 1/2 cup of rice, dill, 4 teaspoon turmeric, cover tightly and simmer for 1 hour longer. (Check the casserole form time to time and add more water if necessary; the ingredients should be well covered with liquid throughout the cooking period.)

Meatballs: Combine the ground lamb, 2 tablespoons of rice, 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1 tablespoon split peas, 1 teaspoon onion, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the egg in a deep bowl. Knead vigorously with both hands, then beat with a wooden spoon until fairly smooth. Moistening your hands in cold water occasionally, shape the mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter. (There will be about 24 meatballs.) When the soup has cooked for 2 hours, gently drop in the meatballs and simmer tightly covered for about 30 minutes.

Garnish: About 15 minutes before the meatballs are done, heat 1/2 cup of olive oil in a heavy 10 to 12 inch skillet until a light haze forms above it. Add the sliced onions and, stirring frequently, cook over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are deeply browned. Set aside. In a small skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over low heat without letting it brown. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mint and 2 teaspoons of turmeric. For each serving, spoon about 1/4 cup of the yoghurt into a heated soup plate and ladle 2 cups of soup over it. Add 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and mint mixture, and stir until all the ingredients are well combined. Arrange 3 of the meatballs in each serving or the soup and sprinkle the top with a few of the browned onions. Serve at once.

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