Persian-Inspired Pomegranate Soup

Recipe by James Collier + Danny Alas

This Persian-inspired bean soup pairs hearty lentils and peas with earthy beets and turmeric,
savory onion and barley, and bright, tart California pomegranate arils. It’s a feast for the senses
that will taste even better the longer the flavors sit together, and it’s vegetarian-friendly–skip the
Labneh garnish and it’s completely vegan!
YIELD: 8 servings
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hour, 15 minutes

● ¼ cup California extra virgin olive oil
● 1 yellow onion, diced
● 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
● 2 tsp cumin
● 1 tsp ground turmeric
● ¾ cup green or yellow split peas
● ½ cup lentils
● ½ cup black eyed peas
● ½ cup pearled barley
● 1 large beet, peeled and diced small
● 2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
● 10 cups vegetable stock
● ½ cup pomegranate molasses
● 2 TBSP dried mint
● 3/4 cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
● 1 TBSP white vinegar
● 1 cup Labneh or thick Greek yogurt
● 1 cup pomegranate arils
● Black pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently,
until starting to brown–about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.
Add the cumin and turmeric and stir to mix with the onions and garlic. Next, add the split peas,
lentils, black eyed peas, and beets. Season with salt and stir in the vegetable stock. Bring the
pot to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, until
the peas are tender but still holding their shape.
With the soup still simmering, stir in the pomegranate molasses, dried mint, and chopped
cilantro. Stir to combine, season to taste with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the
heat, then stir in the white vinegar.
Serve the soup warm with a dollop of the labne or yogurt, a pinch of cilantro, and a generous
amount of pomegranate arils