Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ash Reshteh (Noodle soup) آش رشته

Five years ago, I made a delicious soup, the traditional Aash Reshteh, which is to symbolize holding the "string" (reshteh) of life in the year to come.

I retrieved the recipe from the comments and I think this soup is so good that it deserves a post on its own:

1. Lentils (brown ones) one cup
2. Chic peas (one cup)
3. Red beans (one cup)
4. Spinach (one bag, wash and chop)
5. Herbs: corriander+mint+parsley+leak (0.5 kg; washed and finely chopped)
6. Wheat noodles (250 g)
7. Garlic (2 cloves), finely chopped to small cubes
8. Onion (one large), thinly sliced
9. Turmeric (one table spoon)
10. Dried mint (two table spoons)
11. Vegetable oil, half a cup
12. Optional: one cooked beat, chopped to small cubes
13. Optional: very small meat balls, fried ahead of time.
14. salt to taste

1. Cook beans (not lentils) ahead of time.
2. Fry onions in oil, such that they caramelize,
3. Add turmeric and let it cook with onions for 2-3 mins.
3. Add lentils to onion and toss for a 2-3 mins
4. Add half of the garlic it to the frying lentils and onions. Cook for 2-3 mins on high heat till slightly browned
5. Add herbs and spinach, stir fry for 2 minute,
6. add 8 cups of water and cook until lentils are half cooked.
7. add cooked peas and beans and let it simmer on medium heat for about an hour so ingredients marry well
8. before adding the noodles, increase the heat and wait till the mix comes to a rapid boil, then break noodles in 3 inch pieces and add to boiling water.
9. Cook noodles for 20 minutes
10. Garnish and season

Choose the TASTE
You can make this soup salty: in this case you will need "kashk". You will not find kashk but in Iranian stores. It's a dairy product made from boiled and then dried yogurt. Don't bothermaking it, just ask for "kashk" and the Iranian grocer will show you.

You can make this soup sweet and sour (that I think a southern tradition, but the one I like most)
mix one cup of sugar with half a cup of white-grape vinigar and add to the soup.

In either case, you can add the meatballs and the beat to the soup, just before serving or as garnish.

To garnish (and also to add more flavor), fry the rest of the garlic "slowly" in oil (make sure it doesn't get brown) and 1/4 tbls turmeric. In the last 20 seconds, also add about a table spoon of dried mint. Drain the mint and garlic from oil and decorate the soup with that. The pictures show how my tasteful sister garnishes and decorates ash reshteh. The colors are: red, beats; white, kashk; green, fried mint; yellow, fried garlic and tumeric; light green, tiny Pistachio wedges; brown, meatballs.