This beautiful Persian soup has many different layers of flavours and texture.
The green base of the soup is made with fresh herbs and baby spinach . The aubergine brings a silky consistency and the cannellini beans texture.
The mix of spices is rather more extensive than I usually use but they give this soup a really special Persian flavour. The limou- amani ( dried limes ) are a particular favourite of mine.
At the moment the markets are full of wonderful fresh spring herbs. You just feel compelled to create something with them.
This soup is quite hearty so it can be served as a one -dish meal, together with some Naan or crusty, sourdough bread.
Remember to soak the canellini beans for a few hours or, if you are using canned ones, make sure you rinse them really well .
• for 4-6 people preheat oven 220˚
• 4 young aubergines
• 2 Spanish onions, diced finely
• 350 gr fresh baby spinach
• 1 large bunch Italian parsley
• 1 bunch coriander
• 1 bunch dill
• 5 garlic cloves crushed
• 150 gr cannelini beans, soaked for a few hours or over night
• 1 litre fresh chicken or vegetable stock
• 2 teaspoon each ground turmeric and cumin
• 1 teaspoon each Nigella seeds and black mustard seeds
• 1 teaspoon each ground fenugreek and ground cinnamon
• 1 chilly some seeds removed
• 2 limou-amani ( dried limes from middle-eastern shops)
• salt and pepper to taste
• juice of 1 lemon
• cut the aubergines in half, brush with a little olive oil
• bake in preheated oven for 30-45 minutes, until golden
• with a fork remove the flesh, leaving it in long strands, put aside
• in a little olive oil fry the mustard seeds until they pop
• now ad the rest of the spices and gently fry for 1 minute
• add the chopped onions and let them cook for about 15 minutes
• add the garlic and cook for five more minutes
• roughly chop the herbs, keeping some for the garnish
• add them to the onion
• put 2 ladles of fresh chicken or vegetable stock with the herbs and stir
• add the limou-amni that you have pricked with a fork and the spinach
• the cannellini beans
• and the rest of the stock, stir well, cover the pot and gently cook for 25 minutes
• from time to time squeeze the limou-amani with the back of a spoon
• taste for seasoning, adding the juice of the lemon
• remove the limou-amani
• roughly blitz the soup, you still want to have some texture
• now add the aubergines and gently fold them through the soup
• ladle the soup into deep bowls and decorate with extra fresh herbs