Cookbook Reviews, Recipes

Review: Azerbaijani-style Kofta soup inspired by Taste of Persia

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If you follow our page on Facebook, then you already know that I’ve been struggling cooking for our household of two.  It’s been especially difficult now that we’re blogging and I cook more often.  I’m starting to experience that we’re wasting a lot of fresh produce.  My heart breaks every time I throw out a sad carrot that I had promised I would use.

And it just so happens that I’m having trouble cooking consistently lately.  Workload has been forcing me to work a bit later on the weekdays, which pushes my school study time later, and…come on…honestly?  Do I really want to cook tonight?  Yes, I hope my new Instant Pot will help to solve or–at least mitigate–some of this struggle.

My latest obsession: Persian Food

taste of persia

This becomes kind of a problem as my cookbook addiction continues.  While I still primarily lean on Google to find new recipes, I can’t get the inspiration that can be gleaned from a well-written and expertly photographed cookbook, such as Naomi Duguid’s Taste of Persia

Taste of Persia is more than just a cookbook

Her beautiful escape to the culinary diaspora of the ancient Persian empire, including modern day Iran, is inspirational.  The recipes alone are, indeed, quite wonderful, but as a travel journal and sneak-peek into the people and places associated with this region are where it excels.  It is no wonder that this book was named as a best cookbook by so many, including the esteemed The New York Times, Food and Wine, and The Boston Globe.

After falling in love with this book, I decided it was time I try to cook the book, so to speak.  I picked out three recipes that sounded relatively easy and accessible.  Some ingredients are difficult to find where we reside, so I had to make modifications.  Additionally, due to the problem mentioned above of cooking only for two, I substituted frozen or canned produce where I could.  Here I’ll share one of my favorites that also happens to be easy enough to make.

Azerbaijani-style Kofta Soup

This soup is probably one of the most interesting recipes I’ve recreated in a long time.  It’s easy, especially with a few tweaks I made to ingredients.  We found the unique aspect to be that the meatballs are stuffed with dried apricots.  I wasn’t sure at first that I liked it, but after awhile we could see that it did add something to the meatballs.  If you don’t think you’d like the apricots in the meatball, just omit it.  The beans and potato make this incredibly filling.

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Azerbaijani-style Kofta Soup
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
For meatballs
For soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
For meatballs
For soup
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Add to Shopping List
This recipe is in your Shopping List
Instructions
  1. Put onions into a food processor or blender and blend into a mush.
  2. Add meat, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and pepper and blend until completely mixed. Remove mixture into a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add rice and mint to meat mixture and mix until completely incorporated.
  4. Once the texture is smooth and even, cover and allow to refrigerate for at least one hour and up to six hours.
  5. Add olive oil to a soup pot and heat over medium heat. Add tumeric, onion, and tomatoes. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes.
  6. Add water, bring pot up to a boil, then lower it again to a slow simmer.
  7. Add beans to the pot and cook for 20 minutes, uncovered.
  8. In the meantime, shape your meatballs into 6 equal size balls. Create a space for the apricot by poking your index finger into the ball, inserting the apricot, and then closing the meat back over the hole.
  9. Add meatballs, potatoes, salt, and pepper to the broth and raise heat to a low boil. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes.
  10. Serve in bowls topped with fresh cilantro or parsley.