Shorbat Rumman- Iraq

I cook for three reasons:

  1. For the next country
  2. To finish ingredients that are about to go bad
  3. Because I want to

This is one of those recipes that falls into all of these categories. A recipe from Iran, that uses the pomegranate juice that’s been in the back of the fridge for a little while, and is savory, light, sweet, and refreshing. It’s good hot or cold, and for an appetizer or main course. If you can get your hands on fresh pomegranates, use one in lieu of the juice. I haven’t seen any pomegranates around here since early March.




2 beets

2 cups pomegranate juice (I know, it’s a lot)

1 onion

½ head of garlic

2 inch piece of ginger

8 oz vegetable broth

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon cumin

Ignore the green onions. They’re always sneaking in.


Start by peeling the garlic and ginger,

and then throwing in into a food processor.

Peel and chop an onion- you could, of course, just also have thrown the onion in with the garlic and ginger, but I like onion chunks in my soup.

Next, peel and chop the beets, and then spend 10 minutes scrubbing your hands trying to get the beet juice off. It’s futile. Beet juice cannot and will not be washed off- it’ll leave when it’s ready to leave.

When everything’s all chopped,

toast the cumin and coriander in a pot with some oil, and then throw in the ginger- garlic paste. You can use whole cumin and coriander, if you like.

Throw in the onion, and then the beets.

Whenever I’m making a soup, I like to let the vegetables get a little color on them before I pour in the liquid. Boiled vegetables make me sad. Boiled everything makes me sad- vegetables or meat. Pasta is the exception.

Pour in the pomegranate juice and vegetable broth (feel free to use chicken or beef broth! While you’re at it, add some chicken in here if you’d like it to be a bit heartier), stir everything around, and then add the sugar and some salt to taste.

Let it come to a boil, uncovered,

and then put the lid on, turn the heat to low, and let it cook for about an hour. Serve it hot or cold!

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