Persian Soup (Asheh Reshteh) Vegetarian Detox Noodle Soup
Why I was in the mood to make Persian Soup (Asheh Reshteh) right after we had a massive heat wave in the Bay Area is beyond me. Maybe it was the Lebanese festival we went to in downtown Redwood City over the weekend. It could have been simply needing to detox our system after a couple days of glutinous eating in Carmel over Labor Day. We also had some home-made yogurt that seemed very fitting to use with the topping on this traditional Persian soup. Asheh is pronounced ‘aash’ or is like saying ‘ahhh’ at the doctors and then with an ‘sh’ at the end. Reshteh is the word for noodle in Farsi. So Asheh Reshteh is noodle soup. This is a traditional, herb heavy noodle soup, loaded with fiber and flavor. It is often served at Persian New Year’s celebrations (new year is called “norouz”) and is a favorite among most Iranians.
I like it as a vegetarian dinner option. The beans and noodles make it filling. All the veggies and fiber are good for cleaning out your system if you know what I mean – that’s where the detox part of it comes in.
Hard-core Perisan cooks would likely use dried beans. I’m always looking for short cuts so I used canned beans. Using canned beans means less cooking time. The sooner we can get dinner on the table the better.
You will need kidney beans, garbanzo (or chickpeas,) and lentils. I use canned kidney and chick peas. I do use dried lentils. The small ones cook up quickly.
For the fresh herbs, we use parsley and cilantro. We also use some spinach. Lastly green onions.
Of course the greener and fresher the better!
Ash can be an ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ kind of soup – meaning you use up everything you have and call it ‘ash’. I went for a traditional asheh reshteh because our girls really love it with the noodles. As with any Iranian dish there are many variations. Ask 3 people how to make asheh reshteh and you will get 3 different answers. It is very open to interpretation and so adjust it to your tastes and liking. I always use veggie broth in the place of water when I’m boiling beans or grains. I think it makes it more flavorful. In my recipe here I have less herbs than what would normally be served. We like it heavy on the beans and noodles. Again, adjust for your personal taste.
There are actual ‘reshteh’ noodles made by a company called Sadaf that you can find in middle eastern markets.
Again, easy wins. Fettuccine noodles or any wide and flat noodle is a good substitute. I use fettuccine noodles and it tastes great in this soup. I actually prefer it that way.
There is a special topping that goes on this soup that takes the flavor meter to the next level. It is made with olive oil, onions, loads of garlic, dried mint and dried turmeric.
It is normally served with a thick yogurt (I used a home-made yogurt that was shared with us made by a family friend). Traditionally this yogurt is actually not yogurt but ‘kashk’. Kashk is a super thick, buttermilk cream similar to sour cream. It can be found at middle eastern markets. It tastes equally as good with a lighter, low-fat yogurt and is better for you that way as well. I’m getting hungry just talking about this soup. Time for a bowl!
Here is a snippet of when I made it last night and posted on OvenHug’s Instastory:
What more can I say about it. Your house will small Amazing when you cook this up. You will be surprised at how delicious it is. Stir in the yogurt with the onions, garlic and mint and enter heaven!
- 1 can garbanzo/chickpeas
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 cup dry lentils (or cooked, TJs sells them)
- 8 cups organic vegetable broth
- 1 bunch (about 2 cups) spinach, chopped
- 1 bunch (about 2 cups) cilantro, chopped
- 1 bunch (about 2 cups), parsley, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cloves (about 4 teaspoons minced) garlic
- 2 Tablespoons dried mint
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1½ cups nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Drain and rinse canned beans
- Pour vegetable broth into a large pot
- Add all beans and bring to a boil
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes (until lentils are tender)
- Add fresh herbs (cilantro and parsley,) green onions, and spinach
- Add noodles
- Cook another 30 minutes
- Heat olive oil in a medium pan
- Cook onion on medium heat until golden brown, about 6 minutes
- Add garlic and saute another 3-5 minutes
- Add dried mint and saute another 2 minutes
- Stir in dried turmeric
For more Persian recipes go to the Persian Food recipe archives on Ovenhug. Enjoy!