Ash Reshteh, a soup made with noodles and herbs, is the most well-known and cooked dish in Persian cuisine. Besides being delicious, the reason behind this is that Ash Reshteh features in the events leading up to and after Nowruz (Persian New Year).
The term "Ash" is used to describe thick Persian soups that are cooked with different ingredients. In Farsi, we call a chef "Ashpaz," a person who cooks Ash. Reshteh, on the other hand, means noodles, and Ash Reshteh 'simply means noodle soup.
Ash, or thick soups, comes in many variations all over Iran, And it is one of the most popular and nutritious foods among Iranians.
What is Ash Reshteh?
Although Persian ash (pronounced 'aash') recipes are often described as soups when translated to English, they're hearty bowls of goodness with a consistency more like chowder, stew, or chili. Ash Reshteh is no exception to the rule — a wholesome and beautiful bowl packed full of Persian noodles ('Reshteh'), kidney beans, chickpeas, green lentils, fresh herbs, greens, and flavored with Kashk (a fermented yogurt sauce).
The flavor profile of this dish is complex yet perfectly balanced, with freshness coming from the herbs and a musky citrus note from the kashk. Each bowl is garnished with a drizzle of thinned kashk, some Persian Saffron, some dried mint oil, and a sprinkling of fried onions. It's profoundly comforting and a hug in a bowl!
The History of Ash Reshteh
The ancient Ash reshteh has gone through some transformations. It was not until AD 500 that the dish incorporated noodles which made it more like its present form. Ash reshteh is a soup that consists of herbs, beans, and noodles and can be made in both creamy and broth styles. This is one of several varieties of over fifty thick soups consumed daily in Iranian gastronomy. It is conventionally consumed during rare Persian functions and symbolizes prosperity in the coming time.
Ash reshteh happens to be an essential dish in Persian New Year parties and it is also served at other major events. This is a special dish for welcoming of the spring season. It uses healthy greens, herbs, pulses and noodles. This meal can be made ahead of time and it is also flexible for various diets. Fried shallots, garlic, dried mint, and thinned kashk or yogurt for flavor enhancement would also be used.*
The noodles are called ‘reshteh’ and represent good luck and fortune. Those are spring herbs braised and the soup is symbolic of it! Therefore, you do not need to wait for spring equinox to enjoy this soup since you can take it evenly.
Similar to many other Iranian foods, ash reshteh is seasoned with abundant Iranian herbs that comprise of cilantro, parsley, mint and green onion. Whey, or Kashk - as it is otherwise called is an everyday Iranian cheese whose addition results in the uncommon sour flavor of the dietary regime.
To the Iranians, this comforting soup also holds a symbolic value wherein reshteh noodles represent good luck and fortune should be expected to come. Accordingly, it forms part of the Persian New Year’s menu or other notable occasions.
What Makes Ash Reshteh So Special?
This noodle soup is traditional Iranian food of Persian noodles (Reshteh) and yogurt whey (Kashk). This dish is flavorful because of these two ingredients. Additionally, the unique toppings accompanying this food contribute to the food's desirable taste and smell. I love these garnishes and always include extra amounts on my plate when I eat this food.
Ash Reshteh: How Does It Taste?
This meal has many great qualities, one being its long nutrient list. Thanks to the lentils, beans, and chickpeas, it's loaded with protein, fiber, and complex carbs. The buttermilk and yogurt "Kashk" contribute fats, and greens are snuck in through spinach and fresh herbs.
Persian legume soup hits the major macros and supplies nutrients. It's a great option that will leave you satisfied and full of energy!
Ash Reshteh Ingredients
To make ash Reshteh, you'll need three ingredients: a soup base made from canned goods and spices, a minted oil drizzled on each serving, and an accompanying sauce you'll only have to make once for the whole pot.
- The Soup: The soup portion of this recipe will be made with a base of green lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, flat Reshteh noodles, and water. The flavors come into play when we add olive oil, white onions, garlic, lemon juice, spinach, and a world of herbs and seasonings: turmeric, cilantro, parsley, dill, and salt.
- The Sauce: Next up is the sauce, kashk! This portion adds a boatload of flavor, even though it's only made with two ingredients: buttermilk and plain, unflavored yogurt.
- Minted Oil: Finally, we will complete this dish with a minted oil created with… you guessed it: mint and oil! This is used to add a slightly sweet flavor.
All the raw materials we need to make noodle soup:
- 2 Large onions (one finely chopped, the other one julienne cut)
- 4 Cloves of garlic, minced
- ⅓ Cup Chickpeas
- ⅓ Cup Pinto beans
- 1⁄2 Cup lentils
- ⅔ Cup Chopped chive
- ⅔ Cup Chopped parsley
- ⅔ Cup Coriander chopped
- ⅔ Cup Chopped spinach
- 300 gr Reshteh (Ash noodles, fettuccine can be substituted)
- 2 tbsp. Flour
- Some Persian Saffron
- 2 tbsp. Dried mint
- 1⁄2 Cup Whey (Sour cream can be substituted)
- 2 tsp. Turmeric
- Salt and black pepper
Ash Reshteh Recipe
- Start with sautéing chopped onion until golden brown. Then add in the lentils, turmeric, salt, and water. Please bring it to a simmer and cook for about fifteen minutes.
- Add in the herbs and cook for another thirty minutes. Add pinto beans and chickpeas once the spices and lentils are cooked. Stir well over medium heat.
- Add the noodles and cook for about ten to fifteen minutes. Check the soup after ten minutes so the noodles don't get mushy.
- Taste the soup and add more salt if needed.
- For the topping, fry sliced onions and garlic in a small pan and set aside. Heat more oil in the same pan and saute dried mint for a minute or two.
- Serve Ash Reshteh in a large bowl and top with kashk, saffron, mint oil, fried onion, and garlic.
Kashk As a Topping
This traditionally Iranian noodle soup is topped with Kashk. Kashk is a fermented yogurt product that is off-white, thick, and of pouring consistency. It is sourer than yogurt or sour cream and has a fermented cheese-like flavor.
Some non-Persian people do not like the taste of Kashk and prefer to use sour cream or creme fraiche on top of ash-e Reshteh. I love a thick swirl of good quality kashk to complement this aromatic, creamy, thick soup with al dente noodles.