Cooking Persian Food: Persian-Style Noodle Soup (Ash-e reshteh)

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Chives, dill, and flat-leaved parsley spice up Persian-style noodle soup.

<em>Serves 8 to 10</em>
<p>This is a favorite with the sons of Najmieh Batmanglij, author of <em>New food of Life</em> (Mage, 1992). I prepare the garnish while the legumes are simmering or even the day before to give the flavors time to marry.</p>
<p>• 1/4 cup dried red or kidney beans, washed and soaked overnight<br />
• 1/4 cup dried white beans, washed and soaked overnight<br />
• 1/4 cup dried chick peas, washed and soaked overnight<br />
• 3 onions, diced<br />
• 5 garlic cloves, chopped<br />
• 2 tablespoons olive oil<br />
• 2 teaspoons salt<br />
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper<br />
• 1 teaspoon turmeric<br />
• 3 quarts water<br />
• 1/2 cup brown lentils, washed<br />
• 1 handful chives or garlic chives, snipped, or green part of 1 bunch scallions, chopped<br />
• 1 cup chopped fresh dill leaves (1 bunch)<br />
• 2 cups coarsely chopped flat-leaved parsley (2 to 3 bunches)<br />
• 2 large bunches spinach, washed and chopped, or two 10-ounce packages chopped frozen spinach<br />
• 1/2 pound Persian or linguine noodles, broken in half<br />
• 1/4 cup white wine vinegar or 1 1/2 cups Persian-style kashk (cooked yogurt) or sour cream</p>
<p>1. Rinse the beans well. In a large soup pot over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until golden. Add the salt, pepper, and turmeric, then the beans and 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, skim any foam, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add the lentils and simmer 30 minutes longer.</p>
<p>2. Add the chives, garlic chives, or scallions with the dill, parsley, and spinach to the soup and simmer 15 minutes.</p>
<p>3. Adjust the seasoning. Add the noodles and simmer for 10 minutes or until they are just done. Stir in the vinegar, kashk, or sour cream, and adjust the seasoning.</p>
<br />
• 1 tablespoon olive oil<br />
• 1 onion, finely diced<br />
• 6 garlic cloves, chopped<br />
• 1 teaspoon turmeric<br />
• 1 cup chopped fresh mint, or 2 tablespoons dried mint<br />
• Kashk or sour cream, optional<br />
• 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron, softened in 1 tablespoon warm water, optional</p>
<p>1. Heat the oil in a nonstick pan. Soften the onion and garlic, covered, over low heat, then remove the lid and sauté until golden. Off heat, stir in the turmeric and mint.</p>
<p>2. Serve the soup garnished with the onion mixture, a dollop of kashk or sour cream, and a sprinkle of saffron water.</p>
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<em>Longtime</em> Herb Companion <em>contributor Carolyn Dille gardens, cooks, and is the author of several cookbooks. She writes in San Jose, California.</em>
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<strong>Cooking Persian Food: 6 Herbal Recipes</strong>

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