Ash Reshteh, is a thick Persian vegetable and noodle soup that is a staple dish of many Persian gatherings during winter.
The term “Ash” is used to describe Persian thick soups that are cooked with different ingredients. In Farsi, we call a chef “Ashpaz” which means a person who cooks Ash. Reshteh, on the other hand, means noodles and Ash Reshteh means a thick soup with noodles.
Ash or thick soups come in many variations all over Iran but Ash Reshteh remains one of the most popular versions of Ash across the country.
About Ash Reshteh
This Iranian thick soup has a special place in every Iranian family! My mother would always spend a long time cooking Ash Reshteh. She starts by buying fresh organic herbs and soaking beans, then makes fresh meat stock for Ash, which is not common, but I like the taste it gives to the food. After all the preparations, she starts to cook.
Usually, our family gathers in our house to eat her Ash Reshteh together! This tradition is not only limited to our family, but almost everyone likes to share Ash Reshteh with others. it’s just not the type of food you would eat along and that’s why Ash is served at many Iranian special ceremonies like Nowruz, Ramadan, Yalda night and Sizdah-be-dar.
What makes Ash Reshteh so special?
Persian noodle soup is a unique combination of Persian noodles (Reshteh) and yogurt whey (Kashk). These two ingredients make this dish flavorful. Furthermore, special toppings that come with this food play a complementary role in its desireable taste and smell. These garnishes are my favorite part of eating this food and the extra amount of them are always welcome to my plate.
Is Ash Reshteh a vegetarian dish?
This soup is a great choice for vegetarians. Even by omitting whey it would be a yummy vegan meal.
How to make Persian Ash Reshteh with dried herbs and canned beans?
In this Ash, you can use dry herbs. Canned chickpeas and pinto beans can also be used to reduce preparation time. I would personally suggest being patient with Ash Reshteh as the satisfying taste will compensate the time you have spent!
Ingredients for Ash Reshteh:
- 2 Large onions (one finely chopped, the other one julienne cut)
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup Chickpeas
- 1/3 cup Pinto beans
- 1/2 cup lentils
- 2/3 cup Parsley, chopped
- 2/3 cup Coriander, chopped
- 2/3 cup Chive, chopped
- 2/3 cup Spinach, chopped
- 300 gr Reshteh (Ash noodles, fettuccine can be substituted)
- 2 tbsp. Flour
- 2 tbsp. dried mint
- 1⁄2 cup Whey (Sour cream can be substituted)
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- Salt and black pepper
How to cook Ash Reshteh?
Traditionally the process of cooking Ash Reshteh begins from the night before, or at least 8 hours in advance, by soaking chickpeas and pinto beans in lukewarm water and changing the water every 2 hours.
In a large pot over medium heat place the chickpeas and beans, add 5 cups of water and bring to boil. Then the reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for about 2 hours or until beans are tender.
Then add lentils to the pot and cook for another hour.
In the meantime, sauté onion in a pan for 10 minutes with 1 tbsp of turmeric. Add minced garlic, and sauté together for another 5 minutes until they turn golden.
Add the onion and garlic mix to the bean pot along with chopped vegetables, a pinch of salt, black pepper and the rest of turmeric. Cover and cook for 30 minutes on low heat.
Break off Ash noodles or Reshteh to two or three sections. In a small bowl mix the flour well with 4 tbsp of cold water until there are no lumps. Then add both into the pot, Stir well. Cover and cook for 20 minutes more, until noodles are soft and chewy.
In the last ten minutes add half of the yogurt whey to Ash. The whey will change the colour of Ash from bright green to milky green. (This step is optional, you can skip it and keep the whey just for garnishing)
Ash is ready now, but you can keep cooking it on low heat just to deepen the flavours. If your soup is too thick, thin it with boiling water, half a cup at a time.
Also, taste and adjust the seasoning so that both whey and Reshteh are salty enough.
Garnishing Ash Reshteh
In a pan caramelize the sliced onion in oil and add a generous pinch of salt. After they are nice and golden add garlic and saute over low heat for 3-4 minutes. Keep the heat low to prevent garlic from browning and tasting bitter, then add a pinch of turmeric as it adds an amazing flavour.
Pour onions in a bowl, and set aside.
Using the same pan, heat 5 tbsp oil and once it is hot enough, add dried mint and remove the pan from the heat. Stir gently and set it aside.
How to serve Persian noodle soup?
Remove your Ash Reshteh from the heat. Pour the Ash into a large serving bowl. Drizzle whey on top. Garnish with the onion and garlic mixture and fried mint.
Serve with toasted Sangak or any other bread of your choice.
- You can use canned beans, and chickpeas to reduce the preparation and cooking time.
- If fresh herbs are not available you can use dried herbs instead. The cooking process would remain the same.
- You can use meat stock instead of water.
- If Reshteh Ash (Persian noodle) is not available, use linguine pasta instead.
- It’s better to make garnishes ready while the soup is simmering to save time.
Ash Reshteh | Persian Noodle Soup
- Pressure cooker would save your time for cooking legumes
- 2 Large onion one chopped fine, the other one sliced thinly length
- 4 cloves Garlic Grated
- ⅓ cup Chickpeas Canned Chickpeas can be substituted
- ⅓ cup Pinto beans Canned Pinto beans can be substituted
- ½ cup Lentils
- 300 gr Reshteh (Ash noodles) fettuccine can be substituted
- 2 tbsp. Flour
- 2 tbsp. Dried mint
- ½ cup Liquid whey Sour cream can be substituted
- 2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. Black Pepper
- Salt as much as needed
- ⅔ cup Parsely Chopped
- ⅔ cup Coriander Chopped
- ⅔ cup Chive Chopped
- ⅔ cup Spinach Chopped
- soak chickpeas and pinto beans in lukewarm water and let it rest for 8 hours.
- In a large pot over medium heat place the chickpeas and beans, add 5 cups of water, bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for about 2 hours or until beans are tender. Then add lentils to the pot and cook for another hour. If canned beans are substituted, just canned beans in a pot, bring to a boil and add 4 cups of boiled water to the pot.
- In the meantime, in a pan sauté onion for 10 minutes with 1 tbsp turmeric, add minced garlic, And sauté together for another 5 minutes until golden.
- Add onion and garlic mix to bean’s pot along with chopped vegetables or dried vegetables, a pinch of salt, black pepper and the rest of turmeric. Cover and cook for 30 minutes on low heat.
- Break off Ash noodles or Reshteh to two or three sections. In a small bowl mix the flour well with 4 tbsp of cold water until there are no lumps. Then add both into the pot, Stir well. Cover and cook for 20 minutes more, until noodles are soft and chewy.
- In the last ten minutes add half of the whey to Ash. The whey will change the color of Ash from bright green to milky green. Although it’s optional, you can omit it and keep whey to use just for garnishing.
- In a pan caramelize the sliced onion in oil, add a generous pinch of salt. After they are nice and golden add garlic and saute over low heat for 3-4 minutes. Keep the heat low to prevent garlic from browning and tasting bitter than a pinch of turmeric as it adds an amazing flavor. Pour onions in a bowl, and set aside.
- Using the same pan heat put 5 tbsp oil once hot enough add dried mint and remove from the heat. Stir gently and set it aside
Photos by Reyhaneh Jafari