Ash-e Miveh - Fresh Fruit Soup

The chickpea
A chickpea in a pot leaps from the flame
out from the boiling water,
crying, "Why do you set fire to me? You chose me, bought me, brought me home for this?"
The cook hits it with the spoon into the pot.
No! Boil nicely, don't jump away from the  one who makes fire. 
I don't boil you out of hatred.
Through boiling you may grow flavorful and nourishing, and united with vital human spirit.
I don't inflict suffering out of spite.
Once green and fresh, you drank rain in the garden;
you drank rain for the sake of this fire.
~ Translation by Colman Barks



 This is a nutritious and healthy soup made with fresh and juicy summer fruits, tasty pinto beans (loobia chiti), buttery chickpeas (nokhod) and a little bit of spices. You will be pleasantly surprised with the textures and the delicate flavors of this hearty and flavorful soup. According to my sister-in-law, Shahnaz khanoum, in Iran my mother used to make this soup frequently and my niece and nephew still ask for grandma's orange-colored soup. I've made this soup several times in the past few months and so far this is the version of fresh fruit soup that I like the best and I'm pleased with the results. There's a second variation of this soup at the bottom of the page that you might also like.*


Fresh Fruit Soup (Ash Miveh)

Ingredients:
Serves 4-6

1 cup chickpeas, soak overnight or for at least 6-8 hours, drain and rinse
1 cup pinto beans, soaked overnight
2 peaches, peeled, cut in chunks
2 plums, peeled, cut in chunks
2 nectarines, cut in chunks
3-4 apricots, cut in chunks
1 bunch of parsley, chopped (1 cup packed)
1 bunch of scallions, chopped (1 cup packed)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper 
A pinch of red pepper flakes
A dash of crushed cardamom
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup of thin soup noodles
Olive oil
Water
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice

Method:
  1. After beans have been soaked place them into a large pot, add 6 cups of water covering the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 50 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped vegetables, stir.
  3. In a small skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute onions until golden brown. Add turmeric, stir well, add the minced garlic, cardamom and red pepper flakes and saute for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the content of the skillet (onion, garlic and the spices) to the pot and continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes. Add noodles and more water if needed.
  5. Add the fruits to the soup and simmer on the lowest heat setting for another 20-30 minutes, allowing the fruits to cook and the flavors to blend without boiling so that the fruits hold their shapes and don't become too mushy. 
  6. Taste and adjust the seasoning and add lemon juice to taste.
Serve warm with bread.



*Variation: This is a wonderful and rather sweet version of the above recipe. This is more or less the same recipe as above but the following changes were made.
  1. In addition to the fruits and vegetables I've also added a medium-sized beet (peeled and cut into small pieces) and a small sliced carrot. 
  2. Instead of a cup of chickpeas I used 1/2 a cup of  chickpeas and 1/2 a cup of yellow split peas.
  3. I didn't use any spices other than salt and pepper. 
  4. No sauteed onion and garlic either.
  5. For a sweeter taste I added a tablespoon of honey. You may add a tablespoon of sugar.
  6. This soup has a beautiful color as well as an interesting and delicious taste.
Enjoy!

7 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness Azita! There is a recipe for this soup in Ms. Montazami's cookbook. I have looked at it several times and wondered how it tastes. I have been meaning to make it someday just out of curiosity!

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  2. This soup looks like summer itself. I am very curious of trying it as I have never seen so much fruit used in a savory dish, and with chickpeas. Also the variation is interesting, and it has a beautiful color indeed.

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  3. This soup epitomizes Persian cuisine to me: I am going to try it especially since we get all these fruits from the orchard here and it would be so easy to gather all the ingredients.

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  4. Hi, I just tried this recipe a few days ago and it was beautiful - even thoug I have to admit that it tasted much better the day after the preparation! The taste was kind of strange and really interesting because of the combination. I have a similar recipe but with dried fruits and meatballs. I think meatballs would also be good to add.
    Thank you again for this recipe and the beautiful presentation.

    PS: I tried the "normal" variation without carrots^^

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  5. Anonymous- I'm so glad you liked the soup! Some Persian dishes taste better the next day when re-heated and served the second time. I'm familiar with the delicious dried fruit and meatball soup recipe but I do consider that as a hearty winter soup. Meatballs seem like a great addition to this soup. Thanks for the suggestion. Thank you for trying the soup and commenting.

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  6. "orange-coloured soup"- that's so cute. i am feeling sad that summer is now over...almost. this aush of yours is just the thing to make on a day when we feel we want to capture summer in our homes. x shayma

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