Spinach soup with little beef koofteh

Spinach soup with little beef koofteh

By
From
New Middle Eastern Food
Serves
6
Photographer
Mark Roper

Who knew that the English word ‘spinach’ derives from the farsi word ‘esfenaj’? In this Iranian dish known as ash-e sak, though, it is called sak, an Indian word — suggesting that the dish might have come to Persia from India, a reversal of the seventh-century trend that saw Persian recipes taken with Zoroastrian exiles who became Parsis in their new homeland.

Tasty little meatballs are found all around the Middle East, where they are known, variously, as kifta, köfte or, as here, koofteh. They are very popular in Persian cooking, and the word itself derives from the farsi verb ‘to pound’, which describes the desired paste-like consistency. The secret is to mince the meat twice; ask your butcher to do this for you, or do it yourself at home. The mince must then be energetically and thoroughly kneaded so that the fat is evenly distributed throughout the meat and it turns into a soft, sticky paste. You can do this quickly in a food processor if you like, but chill the bowl and blade in the fridge first.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1.5 litres good-quality chicken stock
sea salt
250g spinach leaves, finely shredded
1/2 cup coriander leaves
2 free-range eggs, lightly whisked
3 tablespoons verjuice
generous squeeze of lime juice

Beef koofteh

Quantity Ingredient
300g lean beef, minced twice
1 small onion, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
splash extra–virgin olive oil

Method

  1. To make the koofteh, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead thoroughly for at least a minute (alternatively, pulse in a chilled food processor). When everything is well combined, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a very large, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until soft and translucent. Stir in the turmeric and pepper and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the stock and salt to taste, then simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  3. While the soup is simmering, use wet hands to roll the beef koofteh mixture into smooth, even dumplings, about the size of a small walnut. You should get 24 dumplings from the mixture.
  4. Pop the dumplings into the soup and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 12 minutes, skimming away any impurities that rise to the surface.
  5. Add the spinach to the pan and increase the heat to a rolling boil. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the coriander and eggs. Stir gently to distribute the egg threads. Add the verjuice and lime juice and season to taste. Serve immediately, making sure that everyone gets four koofteh.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Middle
Eastern
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again