One-Pot Wonders

Persian Stew with Everything You Can Imagine: A Complete Meal in One Pot

December 21, 2015
2 Ratings
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Serves 16
Author Notes

Legumes, Grains, Greens, Meat, Pasta! This dish was long-in-production; over the week, I just kept adding and adding new elements. It began with a very large take-out order of Persian food that I was less than happy with. I looked at all this food dominating our refrigerator and felt compelled to DO something with it, rather than throw it away. So I literally resolved then and there to start dumping everything into a big pot and then see what I had. Fortunately, all the components were in the Mediterranean vein; none of it was Asian; so it all went together pretty well. Pasta fagiole, tomato eggplant spread, arancini, potato, lamb and beef kabob, rice, lentils. It was predetermined that it would be a stew or soup, so chopped canned tomatoes and plenty of chicken stock were added. It had a definite Persian flavor to it, so I built on that, after having spent recent months happily exploring Persian cuisine, thanks in large part to 52. I added dried limes, " a ton of" parsley, dill and cilantro, a can of pinto beans, leftover Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice,bits of corn and chopped canned green chiles,a julienned pound of swiss chard, bay leaf, thyme, pimenton, and, finally, leftover frozen bags of pearl onions and okra (maybe at this point , some of you are thinking of that great Woody Allen line in the pizza parlor, "What, no pineapple?" My best approximation is this 'recipe' but remember that there are no hard fast rules here (aside from leaving out Asian ingredients for another time!) If you do try it, use your intuition, and simmer it for hours or days, adding to it as you go! ( a 'flame tamer' is a great thing for long simmering.) Taste it frequently, adjust your seasoning accordingly, and pause when you are tempted to add just one more thing! Before serving, a healthy dose of fresh lime juice will brighten and pull together the soup's many elements and flavors. —LeBec Fin

What You'll Need
  • 2-3 cups kamut (an ancient grain) or any cooked pasta of a shaped variety
  • 4-6 cups variety of cooked dry beans and lentils
  • 6 cups or more chicken stock
  • 4-6 cups canned plum tomatoes, roughly chopped, plus juices
  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions
  • 1 pound frozen okra, pre-sliced or cut across into 1" pieces(after it has defrosted on the counter a few minutes)
  • 1-2 pounds seared lamb and/or beef cubed kabobs, or meat balls
  • leftover cooked vegetables (not broccoli, cauliflower, or peppers)
  • 1 pound swiss chard, sliced across thinly
  • 4 Persian dried limes*
  • 2 cups each chopped dill, flat parsley, cilantro ( having been soaked and drained to remove dirt)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon @ pimenton dulce or red Aleppo pepper,, ground allspice, dry thyme
  • ~6 ounces tomato paste
  • optional partial or whole box of cooked Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh lime juice
  1. Add all to pot, stirring well and adding more stock and/or tomato if more liquid is needed. Bring to boil and leave on low simmer for 2 days. Many of the starches (notably the pasta) may break down over such a long cooking period, adding to the thickness and layered flavors of the soup. Many of the grain and pasta ingredients absorb ALOT of liquid, so you will likely need to add water before serving it.
  2. * Persian Dried Limes can also be labelled Dried Lemons; they are a key Persian ingredient and I find them in local Armenian grocery stores. When i first used them, I was enthralled with the flavor difference that they made!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • luvcookbooks
My eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, cardamom, and GARLIC! I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me. I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse review it and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.

3 Reviews

LeBec F. December 24, 2015
p.s. still eating it= defrosted this go-round, that is!
LeBec F. December 24, 2015
luv, yep! you'd prob divorce me if you knew how long I actually worked on it. And I'm still eating it and am still healthy alive!
So glad you like Persian dried limes/'lemons'; I have to say thjat I can't think of a better example to demonstrate that a food item that has almost no scent- really CAN (and DOES) make a big difference when cooked in a dish.
luvcookbooks December 24, 2015
Hmmm... happy to see a recipe using Persian limes. Really, though? Days?