Perfect for a chilly day, this delicious, nutritious, and hearty Persian soup will nourish you from the inside out. And it only gets better with leftovers when the flavors get all good and married!
To celebrate the winter solstice (AKA Shabeh Yalda) I’m posting the recipe for my quintessential Persian dish for this time of year.
I can’t tell you how much I love this soup and frankly I don’t really have the energy it’d take to accomplish that right now either. For one, I won’t be able to express myself and the way I feel about this soup enough to do it justice—it’s just really that special to my food heart. Oh, and damn delicious like you can’t even imagine.
And two, I’m running on 6 hours of sleep fewer than I actually needed last night so that I could be all packed and ready before heading over to my early lab meeting and then commuting to the airport so that I could wait for hours at my gate for the delayed airplane. I need some sleep. So. Badly.
But this here post is all about aash reshteh and all its delicious gorgeousness, and not about the most common airport woes experienced.
Aash reshteh literally translates to Noodle Soup. But …OK. Let’s stop right here because this is the biggest failure in naming a food, ever. There’s a ton of bountiful goodness going on in this soup and at the very least sure, there are noodles in the dish. But who cares, because the good stuff in my opinion are all the fresh herbs, tomatoes, garlic, variety of beans, and savory little beef meatballs—hence the really, really long title I gave it up above (and so I succeeded in achieving the opposite kind of food naming failure with that!).
So for other Persians that come across this recipe, yeah, this might not be your mama’s aash reshteh. It definitely is my mama’s aash reshteh and that’s because my family is from the Azerbaijan region of Iran. So the big difference is that we add little meatballs as well as some tomatoes and tomato paste. Typical Persian aash reshteh has more of a green color and Azeri aash reshteh has more of a red color, thanks to the tomato.
We enjoy topping the soup with a little mixture of fried onion, garlic, and mint and then the soup turns into something truly divine.
This soup is incredibly full of anything and everything you’d want or need in a meal and I actually cannot think of a healthier (whatever your definition may be of that) dish right now. Maybe that’s because my brain is currently broken (still waiting on that flight to arrive so I can catch some zzzzz’s—and probably won’t since I’m lame on a plane like that), but honestly, I have more than a hunch that it’s just the truth, regardless.
You guys are in for such a treat with this one. Noush-e jaan (nourishment for your soul)!!
Beef & Noodle Soup with Beans, Tomatoes, and Herbs (Aash Reshteh Azeri)
- 48 oz bone broth/chicken broth/vegetable broth 6 cups (my nutritious and delicious bone broth recipe)
- ½ cup dried lentils that soaked in water for at least 10 minutes
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2½ large white or yellow onions ½ of an onion should be puréed in a food processor or shredded with a box grater, while the other 2 onions should be chopped
- 5 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 2½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 cilantro bunch washed and chopped in food processor
- 1 bunch parsley washed and chopped in food processor
- 1 bunch scallions washed and chopped in food processor
- 3 tbsp ghee or beef tallow
- 6 oz tomato paste 1 small can
- 5 oz fettuccine pasta noodles approximately ⅓ of a package
- 1 ½ heads of garlic minced
- 2 tbsp dried mint
- 8 oz chickpeas approximately ½ can; if using dry, make sure to soak for several hours before rinsing and tossing into the soup
- 15 oz red kidney beans 1 can; if using dry, make sure to soak for several hours before rinsing and tossing into the soup
- 20 oz cherry/grape tomatoes 1 small package
- Add broth to a large pot over high heat and add enough water to fill half the pot with liquid.
- Add lentils (as well as kidney beans and chickpeas if not from a can; otherwise add the canned beans later) to pot of boiling broth/water, bring heat down to medium and close lid to cook.
- In a bowl, combine ground beef with the ½ puréed onion, 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon) sea salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1½ teaspoons turmeric. Form into small, ½-inch sized meatballs and drop them into the soup, one-by-one.
- Add cilantro, parsley, and scallions.
- Over med-med-high heat, add ghee to the bottom of a pan. Add 2 chopped onions and fry until golden-brown, mixing occasionally to prevent burning (about 10 minutes). Once fried, tilt pan to drain the excess oil to one side of the pan with the onions on the other/higher side.
- Mix in tomato paste to pot of soup.
- Add ¾ of the fried onions to the pot of soup and reserve the other ¼.
- Break the fettuccine into approximately 3 inch-long pieces and add to pot.
- Add ¾ of the garlic to the pot and reserve the other ¼.
- Add 1 ½ tbsp dried mint to the pot.
- Add chickpeas, kidney beans, and tomatoes.
- Add enough water to achieve your desired ratio of liquid to other ingredients. Add 2 teaspoons sea salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1 teaspoon turmeric powder to pot of soup.
- In a small pan over med-low heat add the leftover ghee or tallow from frying onions. Then add leftover fried onions, garlic, a pinch of turmeric, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Fry just for a minute or two while mixing. Add ½ tbsp of dried mint and immediately remove pan from heat. Garlic and mint will burn if left on heat.
- Soup is ready once noodles have cooked through. Serve each bowl with a tablespoon or so of the onion/garlic/mint mixture right on top. Enjoy!
In celebration of the winter solstice today (AKA Shabeh Yalda), check out more awesome winter dishes from some of my fellow Persian bloggers!
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