This classic Middle Eastern yogurt soup is bound with egg and (lour and must not boil or the yogurt will curdle. The turmeric tints the soup a lovely pale yellow, which is set off by the green of the mint and green onions and the brown of the meatballs. When pomegranates are in season I sprinkle a few of the jewellike red seeds on top. It makes a great presentation.
To make this soup your main meal, just add a few more meatballs, and serve with a salad and a little pita bread. Well, maybe dessert.
Rinse the chick-peas and soak overnight in
Put the chick-peas in a saucepan with fresh cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the chick-peas are tender, about 50 minutes. Drain and set aside. Put the lentils in another saucepan with cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until tender but still firm, about 20 minutes for brown lentils, 30 to 35 minutes for green. Drain.
Combine the chopped onion with 1 of the eggs in the container of a food processor and process until almost puréed. (Or, grate the onion by hand and then mix with the egg.) Transfer to a bowl and add the ground beef, the salt and pepper, and
Whisk together the yogurt, the remaining egg, the flour, the turmeric, and the remaining
Melt the butter in a small sauté pan or skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft but not colored, about 2 minutes. Scrape the garlic into the pan with the soup. Taste and adjust seasonings and sprinkle with the remaining chopped mint and pomegranate seeds, if using.
© 1992 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.