Pomegranate & Beet Soup

"Ash'e Anar"


Adapted from Reyna Simnegar’s Persian Food from the Non- Persian Bride.  This soup is like a Persian version of Borscht!  The original recipe optionally includes meatballs, not included here.


Pomegranates רימון “rimon” represent our hope that our good deeds “mitzvot” increase like its numerous seeds, which are likened to the 613 mitzvot in the Torah.  Beets, סלקא “salqa” in Hebrew, are associated with our hope that our enemies, haters and those who wish evil upon us depart.  We wish each other the good that this food represents with a pun relating the Hebew word for beets with סלק “salaq,” which means to depart.


6-8 Servings



  • 5 cups water
  • 4 teaspoons chicken consommé powder (parve)
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup medium grain rice, checked and washed
  • 3 large beets, shredded
  • 1 cup chopped parsley (about 1 bunch, stems discarded)
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro (about 1 bunch, stems discarded)
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 2 cups pomegranate juice (or ¼ cup pomegranate paste mixed with ¾ cup water)
  • sour cream (parve, as appropriate), caramelized onions, and pomegranate seeds for garnish



  1. In a 6 quart saucepan, bring water, consommé powder, turmeric, and salt to boil over high heat.  Add rice and shredded beets.
  2. Return to a boil over medium/high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the parsley, cilantro, dried mint, and pomegranate juice or paste to soup. Return to a boil over medium/high heat.
  4. Transfer soup to serving bowl and garnish with sour cream, caramelized onions, and pomegranate seeds.


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