Aash Reshteh is a hearty Persian noodle soup with fresh herbs and legumes. Reshteh means noodles. The type of noodles used in this particular Aash is called reshteh aash, which are flat flour noodles. Aash Reshteh is very popular in Iran, whether enjoying a hot pot of it for a Friday lunch with the family, or cooking gallons of it in giant pots to share as votive ‘nazri’ with anyone who is hungry. I use homemade beef or chicken stock in this aash, but vegetable stock or water may be substituted for a vegetarian version.
This is a wholesome aash cooked with fresh herbs, grains and home cooked legumes. The secret to an extraordinary aash reshteh is to add lots of fried onions towards the end of the cooking time to preserve their flavor. A small amount of ground turmeric adds an amazing flavor to this aash, but too much of a good thing here can quickly turn a lovely flavor to bitterness. The fresh garlic slices are barely sauteed over low heat and added to the pot after the rest of the ingredients are cooked to tenderness.
The ingredients in the Aash Reshteh can easily be increased to feed a large crowd. This delicious aash is a favorite in restaurants and homes, but it is also cooked in small pantries on the street corners in Iran during cold months. Shoppers and tourists can take a load off and treat themselves to a bowl of this aash on the go. This is a popular aash for sizdeh be dar, which is the 13th day of Persian New Year. Iranians celebrate ‘sizdeh be dar’ by spending the day outdoors with family and friends and some like to cook this aash over an open fire for hours, until it is thick and delicious.
Traditionally this aash is served with kashk which is a dried yogurt product, but I usually serve it with sour cream, when I feel indulgent, or low fat plain yogurt for a lighter version. For a vegan version of this aash you may use non-dairy sour creams.
Stir and heat the reserved garnish mixture over low heat. Drizzle the remaining thinned yogurt over aash and garnish with the fried onion and mint mixture. Enjoy Aash Reshteh with toasted sangak or any bread of your choice.
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced small
- 1 TBSP vegetable oil
- 9 cups low sodium beef stock (may substitute with chicken stock or vegetable stock)
- 2 TBSP tomato paste
- ¼ cup short grain rice (calrose rice)
- ¼ cup coarse bulgur
- ¼ cup lentils
- 8 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
- 3 ounces sliced scallions
- 3 ounces chopped fresh parsley
- 3 ounces chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 TBSP dried tarragon leaves, crushed
- 3 TBSP dried mint leaves, crushed
- 1 ½ -2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup cooked pinto beans or canned pinto beans
- 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans or canned garbanzo beans
- 5 garlic cloves sliced thin
- 2 large yellow onions (about 1½ pounds), sliced thin, or 10 ounces fried onions
- 4 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 TBSP butter
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 3 cups boiling hot water
- 4 ounces reshte aash (Raw Noodles) or linguine noodles
- ¾ cup reserved fried onions
- 2 TBSP butter
- 2 TBSP dried mint leaves
- ¼ tsp ground saffron powder (optional)
- 2 cups low fat plain yogurt or sour cream beaten slightly with 1 TBSP cold water until smooth (divided)
- Heat 1 TBSP vegetable oil in a large stockpot. Saute the diced onion until translucent. Add the beef stock and the rest of the listed ingredients, ending with 1 cup of garbanzo beans, to the pot
- Bring it to a boil. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 1 hour. Stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the vegetable oil and butter. Add the sliced onions and saute over medium high heat until the edges start turning golden. Reduce the heat to medium and fry until all uniformly golden brown. At the onset of frying it might seem that there is not enough oil but don’t add any extra oil.
- To make the garnish, transfer ¾ cup of the fried onions to a small skillet, add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of dry mint leaves. Stir over low heat until the butter melts. Turn off the heat, sprinkle the optional ground saffron powder and stir to combine. Set aside.
- To the remaining fried onions add turmeric and the sliced garlic cloves, stir and sauté over low heat for 3-4 minutes. Do not brown the garlic.
- Add 3 cups boiling hot water and the onion/garlic mixture into the stockpot and cook covered for 10 minutes over medium low heat.
- Break the noodles into 1-2 inch pieces and add to the pot.
- Cover the stockpot and simmer over medium low heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the noodles are tender.
- Remove from the heat. Add the aash to a large serving bowl. Add 1 cup of the thinned yogurt to the aash and stir to combine.
- Drizzle the rest of the yogurt on top of the aash. Garnish with the onion and mint mixture.
- Serve in bowls with toasted sangak or any bread of your choice.
Kashk can be purchased from Persian and Middle Eastern markets.