Ash Reshteh would have to be one of my favorite Persian recipes. A dear friend of mine, Sedigeh, showed me how to make this recipe a number of years ago, and I have modified it to make it a quick and easy recipe.
This version uses cans or chick peas, kidney beans and beetroot and frozen spinach. This means that we always have the ingredients on hand.
Follow the steps for this quick Ash Reshteh recipe.
Add 2 cans of chick peas and 2 cans of kidney beans to a large saucepan, with a can of diced beetroot and a packet of frozen spinach.
Add half a packet of vermicelli noodles and enough water to well cover the ingredients, and bring to the boil. You could also use vegetable stock instead of water for a more intense flavor. You can buy special Persian soup noodles, but I use the Italian style vermicelli wheat noodles.
Turn down the temperature and simmer for around 20 minutes. Add salt to taste at this stage. I have indicated 2 tsp in the ingredients, but you may wish to add more, depending on your taste. If you used vegetable stock you may need less salt.
While the Ash is cooking, chop 1 large onion, and add it to a microwave proof jug with the butter, dried mint and turmeric.
Microwave on medium heat until the onion is transparent, around 3 minutes, stirring after each minute.
Stir through the flour, and microwave again on medium heat for 3 minutes, mixing well between each minute.
Add boiling water to the microwave jug and stir well until you have a thick gravy like constancy.
Pour into the simmering Ash Reshteh, and stir through well. It will thicken as it continues to cook.
Traditionally this wholesome soup is served with Kashk, but we always add a dollop of our wonderfully thick homemade yogurt to finish it off. You could also use sour cream as a replacement for the kashk, but we always have yogurt in the fridge.
Top with golden brown crispy fried onions for a more traditional finish.
- 2 440g cans red kidney beans
- 2 440g can chick peas
- 1 440g can beetroot
- 250 g Frozen Spinace
- 125 g vermicelli noodles spaghetti
- 2 tlbs salt
- 125 g butter or oil
- 1 large onion
- 2 tlbs plain flour
- 1 tlbs dried mint
- 1 tsp turmeric
- kashk or yogurt to serve
- Drain the kidney beans and chick peas and place in a large saucepan
- Drain the beetroot, rinsing off any excess liquid and roughly dice the beetroot, add to the saucepan with the vermicelli spaghetti.
- Add the frozen spinach to the saucepan.
- Add enough water to well cover, (about 2- 3 liters) and bring to boil. Turn down and simmer until the noodles are cooked.
- While the noodles are cooking, place the butter, the diced onion, turmeric and mint in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring after each minute.
- Stir in the flour and microwave for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring well after each minute.
- Add about a cup of boiling water to the butter flour mixture and stir well, ensuring there are no lumps, add another cup of boiling water and stir well again.
- Mix into the soup and continue to simmer for about 5 – 10 minutes until the soup thickens.
- Serve with a dollop of prepared kashk or thick yogurt
Kashk is a dairy product used in a lot of Persian recipes. It is a version of the cultured buttermilk you can buy in the supermarket. You can replace this with either plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.
History of Ash Reshteh
Ash Reshteh has been made in Iranian household for many years, and is a traditional winter hearty soup. The introduction of the noodle (reshteh) was recorded to have been added around 500AD making more closely resemble the Ash Reshteh we know and love today.
The combination of fresh herbs, and different pulses (dried beans and peas) makes each households version of Ash Resteh unique. Our version uses spinach and mint with kidney beans and chick peas, although I do add in the radish tops or beetroot tops if I have them in the fridge when I make this recipe.
Read more about the history of Ash Reshteh on wikipedia.