ash sak (lamb & spinach soup with meatballs)

Categories
Middle east
Soup/stew
Main dish
Yield
8 servings
MeasureIngredient
  SOUP:
3 pounds Meat lamb bones; sawed, not
  ;chopped, into 2 inch long
  ;pieces
6 cups Water
½ pounds Spinach, fresh; washed,
  ;trimmed and finely chopped
  ;or 10 oz. pk chopped frozen
  ;spinach, defrosted
2 cups Parsley; finely chopped and
  ;preferably flat leaf
1 cup Onion; coarsely chopped
½ cup Iranian rice; or other long
  ;grain rice, raw, soaked and
  ;drained
1 tablespoon Dill, fresh; finely cut or
  ;1 teaspoon dried dill weed
4 teaspoons Salt
  Black pepper; freshly ground
½ cup Yellow split peas, dried
½ teaspoon Turmeric
  .
  MEATBALLS:
½ pounds Lean ground lamb
2 tablespoons Iranian rice; or raw, long
  ;grain rice, as noted above
2 tablespoons Parsley; finely chopped
1 tablespoon Yellow split peas, dried
1 teaspoon Onion; finely chopped
¼ teaspoon Turmeric
½ teaspoon Salt
Egg
  .
  GARNISH:
½ cup Olive oil
2 mediums Onion; peeled and cut into
  ;1/4 inch thick slices
6 tablespoons Butter
4 tablespoons Mint, fresh; finely cut or 2
  ;tablespoons dried mint
2 teaspoons Turmeric
2 cups Yoghurt, unflavored; at room
  ;temperature

Soup:

In a heavy 8 to 10 quart casserole, combine the lamb bones and water and bring to a boil over high heat, meanwhile skimming off the foam and scum as they rise to the surface. Then stir in the spinach, the 2 cups of parsley, 1 cup of onions, ½ cup of rice, dill, 4 teaspoon turmeric, cover tightly and simmer for 1 hour longer. (Check the casserole form time to time and add more water if necessary; the ingredients should be well covered with liquid throughout the cooking period.)

Meatballs:

Combine the ground lamb, 2 tablespoons of rice, 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1 tablespoon split peas, 1 teaspoon onion, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ½ teaspoon salt and the egg in a deep bowl. Knead vigorously with both hands, then beat with a wooden spoon until fairly smooth. Moistening your hands in cold water occasionally, shape the mixture into balls about 1 inch in diameter. (There will be about 24 meatballs.)

When the soup has cooked for 2 hours, gently drop in the meatballs and simmer tightly covered for about 30 minutes.

Garnish:

About 15 minutes before the meatballs are done, heat ½ cup of olive oil in a heavy 10 to 12 inch skillet until a light haze forms above it. Add the sliced onions and, stirring frequently, cook over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are deeply browned. Set aside.

In a small skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over low heat without letting it brown. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the mint and 2 teaspoons of turmeric.

For each serving, spoon about ¼ cup of the yoghurt into a heated soup plate and ladle 2 cups of soup over it. Add 1 tablespoon of the melted butter and mint mixture, and stir until all the ingredients are well combined. Arrange 3 of the meatballs in each serving or the soup and sprinkle the top with a few of the browned onions. Serve at once.

Source: Time Life Series: Middle Eastern Cooking "circa '69" MMed by: earl.cravens@...

Submitted By BARRY WEINSTEIN On 02-22-95

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