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Parcha Bozbash

1 lb Boneless lean lamb cut in 1" cubes
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tb Butter
1 md Onion, finely chopped
4 c Beef broth
1 md Potato, peeled and cubed
1 sm Quince peeled, cored, and cubed
1/2 c Dried pitted prunes OR 1 c Fresh sour prunes
1/4 lb Chestnuts, shelled & peeled
2/3 c Canned chick-peas * drained & rinsed
2 tb Clarified butter

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. In a heavy pot, melt the 3 tb. butter over moderate heat. Add the lamb and onion, saute until browned, stirring frequently. Add the broth. Add salt as needed, cover, and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add the potato, quince, prunes, and chestnuts. Cover and simmer for 1/2 hour. Add the chick-peas and simmer, covered, 20 minutes. Stir in the clarified butter and allow to melt before serving the soup. Note: 1/4 tsp. ginger or a pinch of powdered saffron dissolved in 2 tb. warm water may be added with the chick-peas, and the soup served sprinkled with 1 ts. crushed dried mint, accompanied by chopped onion and sumakh on the side. In the Caucasus, ground kyurdyuk is normally used instead of the clarified butter, and dried chick-peas* rather than canned ones. The dried chick-peas are soaked for 4-6 hours, drained, & added at the beginning with the broth.

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