Saturday, February 25, 2012

Ash-e Reshteh (Persian Noodle Soup)


Saturdays are Soup Suppers at our home. We often experiment with new recipes on these days. Tonight we tried our hand at Persian Noodle Soup, or Ash-e Reshteh. I used two differing recipes as inspiration- one from Saveur Magazine and the other from Najmieh Batmanglij’s A Taste of Persia cookbook. My adapted recipe combining the best of both follows below.

Serves 4. About 45 minutes to prepare.

olive oil

3 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced

5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 cup white wine

1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

1 can small white beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup small green lentils, rinsed

6 cups chicken broth

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 T dried dill weed

1 /4 pound ground beef

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups dried egg noodles

1 T dried mint leaves, crushed

Plain Greek Yogurt

salt and pepper

In a large dutch oven heat 2 T oil over medium heat. Add 2/3rds of the sliced onion (salt them lightly) and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and using the wine to deglaze the pan as needed. Add the turmeric, more salt and pepper to taste, and 2/3rds of the garlic and continue to saute until golden brown. Add the peas, beans, and lentils and the broth. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the garnish. Saute the remaining onion (salt them lightly) in a bit of olive oil until golden, adding the remaining garlic near the end of cooking as you did before, and using the wine to deglaze as before. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with the mint leaves. Set aside.

Next, make the meatballs. Combine beef, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a metal bowl, shaping into small globes a quarter in diameter. Saute in a 1/4 cup of olive oil until cooked through. Set aside.

Add the egg noodles and meatballs to the soup and cook until noodles are tender- less than 10 minutes. Sprinkle dill into soup, and stir. Adjust soup for flavor with salt and pepper as needed.

Serve tableside as follows: ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a dollop of yogurt and a T of the onion garnish. Soup can be served with flatbread or dinner rolls and butter.

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