Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Eshkeneh - Persian Onion Soup
I have a friend who is obsessed with creating the perfect curry. As obsessions go, its far from a bad one, but it can make going out for a meal with him an, umm, interesting experience. On more than one occasion, when visiting local curry houses he has spent inordinate amounts of time quizzing the harassed looking staff on the ingredients used in various dishes, and has from time to time been invited into the kitchen to talk to the chef (although this may have just been a ploy by irate serving staff to get him out of their hair)
This friend has shelves laden with curry recipe books, and his kitchen is a mountain of jars and packets (which even put my obsessively labelled jars to shame) and like some Dr Frankenstein with a turmeric stained lab coat, he one day staggered out of the kitchen after experiencing his eureka moment. And that moment was adding fenugreek to his curry dishes. Now obviously, this doesn't work across the board, but when added to some curries it adds an amazing savoury deep note of flavour which really makes you think you are in a really good curry restaurant.
And now, yes, I too am a little bit obsessed with the flavour, sprinkling it liberally on dishes where it probably doesn't belong. But oh the flavour. It's like my caraway obsession from last year all over again )although less likely to get stuck between your teeth...)
And so, obviously, I had to see if there was such a thing as a fenugreek soup. And whilst there wasn't an actual fenugreek soup, I did come across this tasty little number. It is an egg drop soup, which I hadn't really tried before - I was always worried about making a soup with the consistency of runny scrambled eggs (a dish that once made me cry as a child, but that's a story for another day...) but this actually turned out rather nice!
4 Large Onions
1 Large Potato
2 tbsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves
3 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
2 Cloves Garlic
1.2l Chicken Stock
1. Peel and thinly slice the onions, peel the potato and cut into small cubes and finely chop the garlic.
2. Heat the butter in your soup pan and cook the onions over a low heat until they soften and turn golden.
3. Add the garlic and potato and cook for another few minutes
4. Add the stock, thyme, fenugreek and bay leaf, then bring the soup to the boil, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.
5. Add the lemon juice and adjust seasoning to taste
6. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then stir them into the soup just before serving, stirring the soup constantly to make sure the egg mixes thoroughly.
7. Serve in warm bowls. Enjoy!