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Shared by Rottem Lieberson

Ashe Anar (Pomegranate Soup With Meatballs)

Yield: 8 servingsTime: 2 h

Shared by Rottem Lieberson

Ashe anar with pomegranate kernels and scallions on large white and blue plate with glass of white wine.
Photographer: Penny de los Santos. Food Stylist: Judy Haubert. Prop Stylist: Mariana Velasquez.

Ashe Anar (Pomegranate Soup With Meatballs)

Yield: 8 servingsTime: 2 h

Family Journey

Tehran, IranSha’ar Haliyah (near Haifa), IsraelJerusalem
Tel Aviv

“This is my favorite soup,” cookbook author Rottem Lieberson explains. Her family serves it on Rosh Hashanah and on Friday afternoons before Shabbat settles in.

Read more about Rottem's family in "A Persian Grandmother and Her Secret Rosh Hashanah Recipes" and try her recipes for cucumber, mint, and sumac salad, sweet challah, and fried eggplant with mint vinaigrette.


For the soup

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup yellow lentils
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 quarts (12 cups) water
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mint plus more for garnish, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 bunches scallions (about 20), finely chopped
  • 1 cup pomegranate concentrate
  • ¼ cup to ½ cup granulated sugar (optional)

For the meatballs

  • 1½ pounds ground beef 
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Cooking ProjectsSoups & StewsMeat Gluten FreeMiddle East


  • Step 1

    Add the oil and onions into a large pot over medium heat and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden, stirring occasionally.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile make the meatballs: Place the beef, onion, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste into a large bowl. Mix well until combined. Take about 1 teaspoon of the mixture and roll it between your palms into a ball that is as small as a cherry tomato and transfer it to a plate. Continue shaping the remaining meatball mixture and set the meatballs aside. 

  • Step 3

    Make the soup: Once the onions are cooked, add the garlic and fry until golden,  about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice, lentils, turmeric, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add the water and stir. Increase the heat to high, bringing the pot to a boil. Add the meatballs to the soup, raising the pot to a boiling again. Then, reduce the heat to medium low and cover with a lid. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

  • Step 4

    Uncover the pot and add the cilantro, parsley, mint and scallions into the soup and stir. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture back to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, place the lid back onto the pot and continue cooking the soup on a simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in  the pomegranate concentrate and. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes, covered. Add the granulated sugar if using and stir.

  • Step 5

    To serve, place a few ladles of soup into individual bowls and garnish with fresh mint and pomegranate seeds. Serve hot.

The soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.