This creamy, Persian spiced vegetable soup does not use the typical ingredients that you may find in your grandmother’s vegetable soup. Most vegetable soup recipes recommend sautéing onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes as a base. After that, I have been known to use whatever was available at the farmer’s market or whatever I may have handy in the refrigerator. That could include yellow and zucchini squash, peppers, turnips, and cabbage. This Persian spiced vegetable soup recipe includes the tomatoes and onions, but also has leeks, butternut squash, and garbanzo beans. The soup is pureed and spiced with cumin, cinnamon and smoked paprika, resulting in a velvety textured soup with a robust flavor.
I used a recipe in the cookbook “Persiana” by Sabrina to guide my interpretation of this hearty Persian style soup. The author suggests, as I do too, that you take the liberty to use whatever vegetables may be available to you.
The soup is gluten free and dairy free. The butternut squash and potatoes add to the rich creamy texture and flavor without using flour or cream. You can opt to garnish the soup with feta if you like, but if you prefer a dairy free version, then you can skip this step.
What I love about this soup is the extras. The added garbanzo beans or chick peas in the soup after it is pureed provide a little texture. The caramelized onions and browned chick peas top the soup and provide flavor and texture contrasts as well as wonderful earthy aromas.
Finally, and most importantly, a dollop of an herby pistachio pesto, sans cheese, brings a bright burst of flavor and color that you will enjoy with every bite.
This hearty soup can be served as a main course and is guaranteed to satisfy your appetite for healthy eating on a cold winter day.