eshkeneh –  egg drop soup with turmeric, onion, potato, & lentils

The main flavors of this soup are onion, potato, turmeric, and cilantro. It is easy to customize to your taste and is made many different ways in homes across Iran. This version, featured recently in the New York Times cooking section, adds lentils. Other variations include adding heat in the form of fresh peppers or more pepper flakes, adding tomatoes, poaching eggs in the liquid instead of dropping in ribbons of egg, or serving with rice or flatbread.

Notes: For the healthy beaver bag recipe kit:

Aleppo pepper is about twice as spicy as Jalapeño. Start with with a pinch of Aleppo pepper and increase to your taste.

Turmeric, fenugreek, and lentils and olive oil are measured to the amount you need for the recipe.

Salt and pepper are not included among the ingredients in the bag since these are common items to have around

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion or sweet onion (you have a sweet onion in your recipe kit)
  • 1 large yellow potato
  •  1 pinch Salt (to taste, start with a pinch)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch Aleppo pepper, plus more to taste  (It is hot, add more if you love heat, you can skip if you don’t like heat!)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¾ cup green or brown lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp, up to 1 TBS salt (preferred salt level varies between people)
  • cilantro, small handful
  • 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves
  • 3 large eggs 


Original Recipe Here:

Read through your recipe twice before beginning.

Prep Ingredients:

  1. Peel and chop onion into small pieces, discarding the papery shell and root end.
  2. Wash potato. Cut off any discolored spots, roots, dirt that won’t come off. Cut the potato into small bite sized pieces.
  3. Look at the dry spices: Turmeric is golden yellow, aleppo pepper is red crushed flakes, fenugreek leaves are dried and greenish
  4. Sort Lentils. Anytime you use lentils you should do this. Dump them on a plate and look to see if there are any small stones or sticks. Throw them away.
  5. Find salt and pepper in your kitchen.
  6. Wash cilantro. Remove any discolored leaves/stems. Chop.
  7. Open tomato paste can and measure 1 TBS. (extra tomato paste should be stored in the refrigerator for use later.

Cooking instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot/pan. Add chopped onion. Cook over medium heat to soften the onion for. It will become golden, it should not turn dark. Cook for 10 minutes stirring sometimes.
  2. Add chopped potato and pinch of salt. Cook 3 minutes.
  3. Add turmeric, pinch Aleppo pepper, black pepper – combine and heat for 30 seconds till the scent of the spices comes out.
  4. Add tomato paste and mix in to coat. Cook for about 1 minute making sure not to let it burn.
  5. Add lentils, stir in to combine. cook 1 minute.
  6. Add 6 cups water and 1 tsp salt. Stir. (Original recipe called for 1 TBS salt, if you like more salt use 1 TBS, if you want to start with 1 tsp and adjust salt at the end you can do that too.) Bring to a boil.
  7. Cover, reduce heat to a low. Cook for 25 minutes till lentils and potatoes are soft.
  8. Add chopped cilantro and dried fenugreek. Stir. Cook 5 minutes.
  9. test salt level and heat level add more salt/aleppo pepper slowly to get it how you like it.
  10. Prep Eggs: Crack 3 eggs into a bowl. Stir till uniform golden color with a chopstick or fork.
  11. Reduce heat of soup to lowish simmer. Slowly pour a ribbon of egg into the soup moving around the pot. Don’t pour all the egg in one place at once. The egg ribbons will set to firm in the hot soup and float. Cover and cook 2 minutes. Then serve. This soup is yummy with bread.

Leftovers should be refrigerated and taste good for up to 3 days.

Alternate suggestion: poach eggs in the soup instead of ribbons. Also very yummy.

The original recipe is available at the following link: I re-wrote the Instructions to adapt for clarity and variation in heat/salt.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *