Iranian Yellow Lentil Soup – “Pomegranate Soup”

Iranian Lentil Soup

Iranian Lentil Soup

My love of fresh pomegranate made it impossible for me to resist a book named Pomegranate Soup: A Novel by Marsha Mehran.

Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran

Pomegranate Soup, book by Marsha Mehran

A sensitively presented book, with recipes, about three women leaving Iran to start a new life in a Ireland. The tale could be located in many countries but Marsha’s story rings the sounds of telling a difficult story in a thoughtful positive light. Of course I loved all the cooking references and what each sister brought to this loving kitchen. An easy quick read, with some difficult heart wrenching chapters. Each chapter begins with a recipe. I find great pleasure and special warmth in recreating her lovely recipes as if you are present in the storytelling and living her sharing of a culture heritage she wants to preserve.

Ingredients for Iranian Lentil Soup

Here I am making the Red Lentil Soup from Chapter two. I used Yellow Lentils and searched out the Nigella Seeds from a local spice store. Nigella Seeds are now a new favorite in my spice rack so I recommend experimenting with them if you can find them. Pepper can be substituted but not the same.

2 Cup dry (red) or yellow lentils

7 large onions, chopped

7 garlic cloves, crushed

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

4 teaspoons ground cumin

Olive oil

7 Cups chicken broth (vegetable broth can be substituted)

3 Cups water


2 teaspoons nigella seeds

I found the author, Marsha Mehran’s directions worked perfectly and there is not anything I would do differently to this delightful soup.

“Place lentils in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook uncovered, for 9 min. Drain and place aside.”

Cooked yellow lentils.

In a large stockpot, fry 6 of the chopped onions, garlic, turmeric, and cumin in olive oil until golden.

broth for the Iranian Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup Broth

Transfer lentils, broth, and water to the pot. Add salt, nigella seeds or pepper to taste. Bring soup to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Cooked lentil soup

Cooked lentil soup.

Fry the remaining onion in olive oil until crisp but not blackened. Add as a garnish…”

Fried Crisp Onions

Recipe adapted from Chapter 2 recipe Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran, Random House.

Clay pots I used were from La Chamba Colombia for the chicken broth and serving bowel. The soup was prepared using a lidded clay Pomaire Chilean pot.

Super Simple Lentil Recipe

Lentils made in a mexican been pot

Lentils are very nutritious and easy to prepare. Most varieties are 26% protein and considered one of the healthiest foods to eat.

I used a Mexican bean pot to cook the Lentils.


I ordered it through Gourmet Slueth on the web. Excellent price and Gourmet Slueth is a big enthusiast of clay cooking.  I would recommend visiting their site.

Another site that offers clay bean pots is

Watch for additional recipes using some of there clayware. I like that I can feel safe they have approved the leadfree aspect of their cookware.

Super Simple Lentils

Bag of Lentils

Garlic – 3 cloves

Cilantro 1/3 of a cup fresh or 1T dry.

1 chopped tomato – or canned is fine too.

1 vegetable broth cube – can of broth would work but adjust amount of water used.

Salt and Pepper

Rinse a bag of dried lentils… any color of lentils. Put them in about 6 cups of water in the bean pot, add one chopped large onion,  crush or chop the garlic and add with the cilantro dried or fresh, a vegetable broth cube, 1 chopped medium tomato  and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tender… add water if necessary.

These lentils are so basic that you could add a spice like cumin for a little more distinctive flavor. Ideal for blending into soups, Indian dishes, or as a quick side dish.

Please share your favorite recipes and experience cooking with clay cookware from around the world.