Ash E Reshteh (Persian Noodle Soup)
So why not expand your noodle soup horizons with this version of a Persian classic?
Ash E Reshteh is traditionally served during the Persian new year - the first day of Spring. This thick green soup is made hearty with beans and reshteh (a Persian noodle), and topped with kashk, a thick fermented yoghurt. Here, I've substituted some of the ingredients to things more easily obtainable in Sydney, but feel free to visit your local Persian shop for the more authentic fare!
Ash E Reshteh
1 large brown onion
1 tsp tumeric
1 can (420g) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (400g) Cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup dried brown lentils
1/2 cup dried dill (or fresh, I just had dried dill on hand)
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 bunch coriander
250g frozen spinach
1.5L stock (I used 1 part beef and 2 parts chicken)
100g long pasta, like spaghetti
1 tbsp flour, optional
1 large spanish onion
2 tsp dried mint
Yoghurt, to serve
Finely slice the brown onion. Sauté the onion in some oil, over medium heat till lightly brown.
Add turmeric, and fry till fragrant.
Roughly chop parsley and coriander, and add to onions to cook. Wilt the herbs, and add dried dill and lentils once wilted.
Add stock to pot with frozen spinach and bring to the boil, covered.
Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, partially covered,
Meanwhile, finely slice the spanish onion and fry over low heat in a wide pan. You'll want to bring the onion to just before burning point. Sprinkle over crush dried mint and stir through. Set aside to use as garnish.
Once the soup has been thoroughly simmered, break the pasta strands in half and add it to the pot. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Then add the drained and rinsed beans, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
If the soup requires thickening - and this can vary according to preference, mix 1 tbsp of flour with some of the liquid from the pot, in a bowl. Once the flour is a runny paste, add it back into the pot and stir through to thicken.
Season to taste.
Serve topped with yoghurt and minted fried onion.
Ash E Reshteh can be enjoyed so many ways - thick and clouded with yoghurt, or piled high with savoury onions. I must admit, the comfort that I've derived from this noodle soup has gotten me through more than one bout of the flu.
How do you enjoy your ash?