Persian yoghurt soup

PersianYoghurtSoupSince my lovely friend Leila made me an amazing Persian dinner a few months ago, I’ve had a growing fascination with Persian food. In my search for simple Persian dishes to cook, I came across loads of recipes for Persian yoghurt soup – all very different, but equally tempting-sounding.

This is one I adapted from the New Covent Garden Soup Company book. It’s called Persian yoghurt soup, and perhaps that’s how it’s supposed to have turned out… the way I made it, it was definitely something closer to a stew than a soup. Anyway, the mishearing of the name of this soup is what inspired Nadav’s Pleasure Soup, so one delicious soup-stew begets another…

Laura, enjoying her soup

Laura, enjoying her soup

Leila did say she’d never heard of such a dish, so I can’t vouch for its authenticity, but nevertheless it was a delicious and filling meal. It was also pretty cheap to make, given the vast quantity this recipe produces – enough for dinner and several days’ lunches for two. We ate this with extra dill and spring onions on top, as well as the garnish below. Plus, we had lots of not very fresh bread rolls about to go off, so they got eaten too (and I’m sure that’s definitely not authentic).

Do you know any good Persian recipes? I’m still looking for inspiration…


Serves 8

Cooking time: 1 hr prep (inc soaking split peas), 1 hr 15 mins cooking time,


What you need:

1.2l cold water

225g minced beef

1 onion, finely diced

75g yellow split peas, soaked 1 hr in water

½ tsp turmeric

2 tbsp cumin seeds

2 dried red chillies

½ tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

225g rice, washed

350g spinach, roughly chopped

25g dill

75g spring onions, finely sliced

150ml natural yoghurt



1 tbsp oil

½ medium onion, finely sliced

1 tbsp chopped mint


How to make it:

  1. In a large stock pot, bring the water to the boil and add the beef, onion, yellow split peas, spices and salt. Once at a rolling boil, turn down the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the rice, bring back up to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Next, add the spinach, dill, spring onion and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Finally, stir in the yoghurt and remove the pan from the heat.
  4. Now make the garnish. In a small frying pan, sauté the onion over a medium heat until it turns golden brown. Tip in the mint and fry on low for a further 5 minutes. Spoon the onion-mint mixture onto kitchen roll and leave to drain.
  5. Reheat the soup gently so that the yoghurt doesn’t curdle, then serve with the garnish sprinkled over the top.


Other Persian soups