Sunday, March 08, 2020

Pomegranate Soup for Cook the Books

The selection at Cook the Books club for February/March is Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran.
Three sisters from Iran end up in County Mayo, Ireland, hoping for a better life. The Aminpour sisters open a cafe and cook the delectable dishes from their homeland. It’s a small Irish village and while some of the townsfolk want to try a more exotic cuisine, there are those who shun the women and cafe simply because they are from Iran. You could substitute any middle eastern family trying to run a cafe in any small town, in Ireland or the U.S. for this plot.


The setting for this book was Ireland and Iran. The plot plays out predictably with the women and their Irish neighbors, the cultural differences accepted. Well, by most people. Definitely a foodie book with over a dozen recipes included throughout.

There were so many interesting dishes served up in this book but the recipe for lentil soup grabbed me right away. I had been wanting to make red lentil soup for a long time.


Red Lentil Soup
(adapted from the book)

2 TB butter
2 TB olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
2 leeks, medium diced
4 stalks celery, medium diced 
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 cups red lentils
Chopped tomatoes 
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
5 cups chicken broth, (I think I used more)
Salt and pepper

Sauté the onions, leeks, garlic and celery in the olive oil and butter. Add  the lentils and broth  and simmer for 40 minutes. At that point I tossed in some chopped tomatoes. Add any seasoning then Parmesan cheese, before serving sprinkle with parsley.

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  1. The soup looks absolutely delicious. Interesting comment about the US - Me and my friends seek out restaurants with Middle Eastern or Persian cooking..

  2. The lentil soup looks pretty much like the classic version. I've been wanting to make some for a while, good idea. I've mentioned that I read the book a long time ago.

    best... mae at

  3. The soup looks amazing and has no "unacceptable" ingredients for my picky eaters so I'll have to try this. I haven't heard of this book but I like the sound of it even if it's a bit predictable.

  4. I wanted to make this soup too (along with the pomegranate soup) but I had about over-souped the spouse. :)

  5. Great choice of recipe: a nourishing and comforting soup we could all use in this strange spring. Thank you so much for contributing to this edition of Cook the Books :)

  6. I am definitely going to make this soon. Thanks for joining the Cook the Books fun.

  7. This lentil soup sounded delicious to me as well. I'm so glad you chose it.

  8. We are just coming into soup weather here.

  9. This soup is calling to me, and needs to be made soon. Sounds perfectly comforting.

  10. I made the red lentil soup too and since it was still relatively chilly at the time really enjoyed the hearty nature of this dish


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