a collaborative effort: mommon’s goosh bareh, or lamb’s ear (not really) soup

goosh bareh, a spicy tomato based soup with delicate beef filled dumplings originates from azerbaijan, to the north west of iran. it is my grandmother’s specialty (she was born in azerbaijan), and as i remember it, she was often asked by friends and family to make it (probably because once you have this soup, you will crave it forever). my sister and i loved the ritual of making the little lamb’s ears (or beef filled dumplings that are thought to resemble lamb’s ears), and would beg to be allowed to help-when i say ritual, it truly was a collaborative effort to make this dish. when my grandma (and her gang of helpers) made it, they made enough to share with family members, friends, and sometimes (at least it seemed like) the whole neighborhood.  in reminiscing about the old days with my sister, we decided it was time for us to make our first attempt at making goosh bareh—we thought it would be relatively simple…we used to do it all the time as kids, right? well, halfway through our first attempt we realized  we were no experts at this. the main issue we came across was that we didn’t make the dough thin enough (more like the dough was not cooperating). if you decide to make this-and you should- one day when you have some time and patience on your side, make sure to make the dough as thin as possible, and to keep the thin sheet of dough moist on one side (with a moist cloth) while you work on the other. cover the dumpling you make with a damp cloth to keep them moist as well. as you can see, we didn’t really follow our own advice, and our dumplings looked (and tasted) relatively dry (hard).

for the dough:
these goosh bareh’s actually came out a little thick-you should strive for thinner dough-
i will update my pictures when i make my next (and hopefully much thinner) batch

  • 2 cups self raising (all purpose) flour (you can make your own self raising flour by combining 1 cup all purpose flour with 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt). 
  • 1 organic egg yolk only
  • 3-4  tbsp cold water (adjust as needed-let the dough talk to you:)
  • pinch of sea salt
sift together the flour and salt (in a bowl or on a cutting board), and make a well in the middle, add the egg yolk and water and start kneading the dough until smooth. cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 30 minutes.
for the meat filling:
  • 1/2-3/4 pound minced lean grass fed beef (or lamb)
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint, very finely chopped or 2-3 tsp dried mint
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional for spicy)
  • mix all of the above together, and make small (size of a chickpea or slightly larger) sized meatballs.
cut the dough in straight criss crossing lines making squares that are about 1.5 by 1.5 inches, and place a little meat ball in the middle of each. bring 2 corners of the squares together ( you may want to use a touch of water for the edges)-this is where the patience comes in-then twist the 2 corners of the triangle around your fingers to make the ears (see pictures below)

finely chopped mint & shallot

ok, we are almost getting there…
for the soup-you will need really good home made chicken broth :
  • 1 whole organic chicken (you can used the cooked chicken for a salad or soup)
  • 1 large onion
  • sea salt, cracked pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • small bunch of parsley
  • 4-5 cups filtered water
  • let it cook (slow simmer) for at least 60-90 minutes, then strain
for the soup:4-5 cups good chicken broth

  • 3 large vine ripened tomatoes, preferably peeled, all but one pureed-the remaining one cubed
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 tbs saffron water (saffron strands seeped in a few drops of warm water)
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2-1 serrano chili, deseeded, finely chopped (optional for spicy)
  • 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tbs dried mint (not spearmint)
  • a splash of olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime

add the pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt & pepper, chili pepper, dried mint, and olive oil to the broth and bring to a boil, let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, then add 1/2 of the chopped (finely cubed) tomato, saffron water, and 1/2 of the parsley, simmer for another 5 minutes, then add the dumplings (you can also cook them separately in boiling salted water and then add to soup), and cook for about 10-12 minutes until they are soft. add lemon juice and remaining cubed tomato and parsley just before serving. remember to taste the soup and adjust your seasonings. welcome to the exclusive goosh bareh lovers club!!

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5 Comments on “a collaborative effort: mommon’s goosh bareh, or lamb’s ear (not really) soup

  1. Pingback: how to make a silky & delicious cream of broccoli soup in a matter of minutes | Cooking Minette

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