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bowl of soup
  • mains

Traditional Persian soup

This hearty soup is called 'Aash-e reshteh' in Persian

In Persian cooking, the Aash - a traditional thick soup that is almost a stew - is made to mark many special occasions. Each one is different but all have the contrast with the mix of pulses and a variety of fresh herbs that make them both hearty, aromatic and slightly exotic. The addition of the fried onions, fried mint and the fermented yoghurt is visually quite dramatic and their flavours take the soup to a whole new level.

When I was in Tehran I saw this aash - which is really a traditional street food - on a menu for a palace dinner in 1976. Later when I met Empress Farah I mentioned this and she admitted that she had asked for it because Aash-e reshteh was one of her very favourites. Try it and it may become on of your's too.

Remember you have to soak the pulses over night.

  • Ingredients
  • this serves 6 people
  • 200 gr dried chick peas ( soaked over night)
  • 200 gr dried red kidney beans ( soaked over night)
  • 200 gr brown lentils
  • 2 Spanish onions finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chilly flakes
  • 2.5 litres of very good chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch each of fresh Italian parsley, chives and coriander chopped
  • 1/2 bunch each of dill and mint
  • 100 gr fresh baby spinach leaves
  • oil and butter for frying plus salt and pepper
  • Garnish:
  • 1 Spanish onion finely sliced and 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • olive oil for frying
  • 3 tablespoons dried mint
  • 250 kashk ( fermented yogurt) or you can use 100 gr goats feta and 200 gr Greek yogurt blended together
  1. In a large sauce pan, fry the onions in a little butter and oil

  2. add the turmeric, chilli flakes, cumin and garlic and cook a few more minutes

  3. now add the three pulses and the broth and let it gently simmer for 1 1/2 hours

  4. once the pulses are tender, add the chopped herbes and the spinach

    pot of soup with pulses and greens
  5. let it gently simmer for an other 15 minutes

  6. meanwhile prepare the garnish

  7. coat the onion rings with one tablespoon of four

    onion rings
  8. fry them in the oil until golden and set aside

  9. fry the dried mint until dark and set aside

  10. if using yogurt and goats feta, mix them together until smooth

    a creamy yogurt
  11. pour the soup in bowls and garnish with onion rings, fried mint and kashk

  12. serve

    a bowl of soup with the garnish
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