Vegan Abgoosht and Gondi (Persian Chicken Soup with Chickpea Dumplings)

I have so much to say about this dish, but I'm trying really hard to collect my thoughts and not overwork this post. I'm really passionate about my culture and family traditions - and this dish in particular holds a lot of memories and is something you can only get in a Persian kitchen (or someone who cooks Persian food... I'm trying to say you can't get this in a restaurant).

There are two parts to this recipe, soup and dumplings. Abgoosht, pronounced "ab-goosht" literally means "water" and "meat" - that's the soup part. "Gondi" are the chickpea and chicken dumplings.

Abgoosht is a rich, flavorful Persian soup seasoned with turmeric, onions, and dried limes (limu-omani). There are many different variations of Abgoost - and every family adds their own flair to their version. For example; my grandfather sometimes adds papaya fruit into his soup - which may sound completely wild to another Persian kitchen.

Gondi, (the dumpling part) is almost like a matzo ball consistency with Persian flavors and spices. You will typically find the Gondi addition in a Persian Jewish kitchen.Traditionally, my family will eat the gondi dumplings as an appetizer - before we enjoy the soup. We cook the dumplings into the soup and then fish them out once they boil up. We serve gondi with fresh lemon juice squeezed on top, along with Sabzi (fresh greens - typically mint, parsley and basil). My grandmother used to make my brother and I gondi pita sandwiches before dinner... what I would do for one of those today...

There are two main variations of abgoosht; one is served as a soup with rice, and the other is mashed and served with bread and soup on the side. I tried to make a chart to help break down some of the differences - both versions are really delicious...

I found a great recipe online for the mashed version at in case you'd like to try that too :) My really good friend Mehdi who is Persian has never heard of my soup version - he can hardly even make sense of it whenever I try describing it. I keep promising I will make it for him one day - this wasn't the day though.. Sorry Mehdi!

As I mentioned earlier, every family has their own variation of this recipe. So I created my own - that's vegan and fat free. In my opinion, it tastes just as good without the meat. I've even been told it tastes like there's chicken in it - but don't be fooled :)

Vegan Abgoosht and Gondi
Persian Chicken Soup with Chickpea Dumplings
by Sarah Farsh July 10, 2012

Vegan Chickpea Dumplings (Gondi):
  • 1 onion
  • 1 pack firm tofu
  • 2 cups garbanzo bean flour
  • juice 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp coriander
Vegan Persian Chicken Soup (Abgoosht):
  • 3 onions
  • 5 hand size yellow potatoes
  • 1 purple top turnip
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1 lb celery
  • 4 - 5 cups fresh cooked chickpeas (or canned, unsalted)
  • 3 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • juice of 5 - 6 lemons
  • dried limes (limu-omani) - optional
  • 32oz vegetable stock
In a food processor or VitaMix, blend all of the Gondi ingredients together until smooth. Add a little more garbanzo bean flour to the mix if you find it's too runny. Set aside.

In a large soup pot, dry saute onions and then add the rest of the veggies and all spices. Using a fork, poke a few holes into the dried limes (if you are using them) and place the dride limes into the pot. Add the beans and vegetable stock. Add in water to fill 3/4 of the pot - be sure to leave enough room for the dumplings! Once the water in the soup starts to boil, you can then start spooning the Gondi mixture into the pot like so:

spoon the chickpea mixture into boiling soup w/ 2 spoons
don't worry - they don't have to be a perfect ball shape.

dumplings will rise to the top of pot when done cooking, you can serve on their own in pita, or with the soup.

you can serve the abgoosht on its own with dumplings, or on rice.

Cook the dumplings in boiling water for 7-10min. You can test to see if the dumplings are done by fishing one out and giving it a try. Serve the dumplings with pita bread or one their own with fresh lemon or lime. Adding salt to taste. Serve the Abgoosht (soup) over basmati or brown rice.


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  3. I made the black limes. In my instant pot, it only took 24 hours to dehydrate. Now for the mental space to make the actual soup, It looks amazing. I was wondeirng if mock chicken (vegi-chicken) would be a nice addition? I can't wait. Your article is great. I'm drooling :)

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  5. I tried this. It makes SO MUCH. I live alone in a studio and wonder how I will eat all of this. It is very tasty and unique.
    I used only half of the dumplings. The "soup" turned into a meal - more like a lot of bread dipped in soup after adding the dumplings. I will leave the other half in the freezer (separating liquids from solids).
    I added some tomato paste and garlic to mine, along with some olive oil ... it mellowed the tartness (I am not Persian and not used to high acidity). I liked the soup a lot more after that. :)
    Thank you for your recipes, I am interested in trying more. Thanks for making vegan solutions :)

    1. That's the good thing about soup/stew, you can make a big batch and freeze single-portion sized left overs for future meals. The soup is a meal, the dumplings can be enjoyed as part of it, or fished out as an appetizer. It's supposed to be a soupy stew so I wouldn't suggest separating liquid from veggies but it would make a nice broth if that's what you're thinking. Yes we enjoy a lot of sour and lemony things in Persian food, you can just add more sea salt to balance out the sour if you need in the future.

    2. It was really, really good for about a week. I loved it. The dumplings really grew on me.
      I saved 1/2 in the freezer. I'll use it soon on another soupey-rainy Seattle cold-winter/spring day.

      My father lived in Iran before the revolution (he was an American). He spoke Farsi when I was little and taught me some. He made a lot of recipes and had me vegetarian for a while as a child. Our house was filled with rugs and art.

      I'm anxious to try some other recipes with cardamom and rices with golden raisins and dates. So yummy. I printed quite a few recipes to try soon. Some salads and mint spreads.

      I can't wait to try some more of your vegan foods :) Everything looks unique and delicious. Thanks for your site :)


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