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 aubergines bring 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 you have to soak the canellini beans for a few hours or over night.
- 4 young aubergines
- 2 Spanish onions diced
- 300 gr baby spinach
- 1 large bunch of Italian parsley
- 1 bunch of coriander and dill
- 4 cloves of garlic finely sliced
- 150 gr cannellini beans ( soaked for a few hours or over night)
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons each of ground turmeric and cumin
- 1 teaspoon each of Nigella seeds and black mustard
- 1 teaspoon each of ground fenugreek and ground cinnamon
- 1 chilli some seeds and filament removed and chopped
- 2 limou-amani or 1 fresh lime
- juice of 1 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
for 4 to 6 people / pre heat oven to 220˚
cut aubergines lengthwise, brush with olive oil and bake in pre heated oven for about 25 minutes until golden, set aside
in a little butter and olive oil fry the mustard seeds until they pop, then add all the spices and gently fry for 1 minute
add the chopped onions, cook for 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for further 5 minutes
chop the herbs ( keeping some for decoration) and add them to the onion mix
add 2 labels of chicken stock, the spinach and the limou-amani that you have pricked with the fork
now add the cannellini beans and the rest of the stock
gently boil for about 25 minutes or until the cannellini are soft
squeeze the limou-amani from time to time to release the juice
taste for salt and pepper and squeeze in the lemon juice
remove the limou-amani and roughly blitz the soup, leaving some texture
with a fork scrape out the aubergines and add them to the soup
pour the hot soup into bowls and decorate with the extra fresh herbs