Ash-e Reshteh (Persian Noodle Soup) Recipe

Typically eaten around Nowruz, the Persian New Year, or for luck when friends and loved ones go on a journey, the noodles in this herb-packed, hearty soup are said to represent the many different paths in life.
March 8, 2021, 12:00pm
ash-e-reshteh-recipe
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients

2 ½ cups|625 ml vegetable oil
4 large yellow onions, thinly sliced 
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
3 bunches scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 bunch cilantro, stems discarded, leaves roughly chopped
1 bunch parsley, stems discarded, leaves roughly chopped
1 pound|450 grams fresh spinach, stems discarded, leaves chopped
½ cup|90 grams green lentils
⅓ cup|65 grams grams dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
⅓ cup|62 grams dried kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained
⅓ cup|66 grams grams dried navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
6 ounces|170 grams enriched flour noodles or linguine, halved crosswise
1 (12-ounce|340 gram) jar liquid kashk (alternatively, use thick Greek yogurt)
kosher salt, to taste
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons dried mint leaves

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Directions

  1. Heat ¼ cup|60 ml of the oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add the onions and cook until golden and deeply caramelized, about 40 minutes. Stir in the turmeric and cook 1 minute more, then, using a slotted spoon, transfer half of the onions to a bowl to reserve for serving. 
  2. Stir the scallions, cilantro, and parsley to the onions on the stovetop and cook until the scallions are soft, about 8 minutes more. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils, beans, and 8 cups|1.9 liters water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, covered, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Add the noodles and cook until soft, 12 to 14 minutes. Add a bit more water if it’s too thick to your liking, but bear in mind that it is a thick soup! Stir in ½ cup|125 ml of the kashk, season with salt, and keep warm. 
  3. Heat 2 cups|500 ml of the oil in a small saucepan over medium. Line a plate with paper towels. Add the garlic to the oil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic starts to brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. As soon as it starts to turn golden, skim with a fine-mesh strainer or spider. Transfer the garlic to the prepared paper towel-lined plate. Save the oil for dressings or frying savory things. 
  4. Gently heat the mint in the remaining ¼ cup|60 ml oil in a small skillet over medium. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk 1 to 2 tablespoons of water into the remaining kashk to loosen it up.
  5. To serve, divide soup among bowls. Top with the reserved caramelized onions and the crispy garlic. Drizzle with the mint oil and kashk.

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