17 September 2017

Armenian turd soup

Yes, I'm sure it has an actual name. Whatever, it tastes a bajillion times better than it looks.

It's a delicious, aromatic, slightly sweet and sour lamb stock with pomegranate molasses and cinnamon, chickpeas and lamb meatballs stuffed with prunes..

...which look like turds.

Well they do!!


For the turds:

- 500g lamb mince
- about 8 prunes (pick ones that aren't too dry), halved
- 1 large onion, grated
- 3 tbsp of uncooked rice
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil for frying

For the stock:

- 2l of lamb stock (if you're using stock cubes, don't use the full recommended amount to begin with. E.g. if the package says to use 4 cubes for 2 litres of stock, use 3 to begin with. You can always add more at the end, and pomegranate molasses can be quite strong in flavour, so you don't want to overdo it)
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (if you can't get pomegranate molasses, you can easily make it from pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice - recipe below)*
- 400g can of chickpeas
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- 1/2 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
- 1/2 bunch of fresh dill, chopped
- (optional) 1/4 tsp of liquid smoke

*If you're making pomegranate molasses yourself:

- 4 cups of pomegranate juice (not pomegranate juice drink - if has to be 100% pomegranate juice, like POM)
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice

  1. If you decide to make pomegranate molasses yourself, mix all the ingredients in a wide pan and simmer for about an hour. Once it thickens to a syrupy texture, let it cool slightly and transfer to a jar. You can store it in the fridge for... erm... until it looks off, I guess?

2. To make the turdy meatballs, mix the lamb, rice, onion and a good amount of salt and pepper together in a bowl. Form turd-shape meatballs, with half a prune inside each. You should get about 12-16 turds, depending on how generously you wrap the prunes in meat.

3. Heat up oil in a frying pan and sear all of your turds on medium to high heat, until they are browned on all sides.
4. Next, make the stock. Pour the lamb stock into a large soup pot, add the cinnamon stick and bring to boil.
5. Add pomegranate molasses and give it a bit of a stir to dissolve.
6. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, and add to the soup.
7. Carefully place your turds into the soup, and let it all simmer together for 20-25 minutes, or until the chickpeas are soft.
8. Add lemon juice to taste. It should be slightly sweet and sour, and a bit smoky and christmassy. Sometimes, I add a 1/4 spoon of liquid smoke to bring out the flavour.
9. Serve with a garnish of coriander and dill.

Mmmm... tasty turds.

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