Vegetarian Noodle Soup (Ashe Reshteh)

Recipe and photo contributed by Ramin Ganeshram Yield:  8 servings
Prep Time:  30 minutes Cook Time:  1 hour 30 minutes

Vegetarian Noodle Soup (Ashe Reshteh)

This hearty noodle soup is thick with freshly chopped herbs, legumes, and long noodles. For the best luck, it’s important not to break the noodles, so use a large enough pot to allow them to simmer intact. Allow enough time to soak the beans if you are using dried.

Ingredients

½ cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight in 1½ cups water, or 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained

½ cup dried dark red kidney beans soaked overnight in 1½ cups water, or 1 cup canned kidney beans

¼ cup yellow split peas

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, sliced thinly

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 cups chopped fresh parsley

2 cups chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup chopped scallions

3 cups chopped baby spinach

½ cup chopped fresh dill

½ cup chopped fresh mint

6 cups Roasted Vegetable Stock or store-bought low-sodium vegetable broth

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 package rice or traditional vermicelli noodles

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup whey (kashk) or plain yogurt

 

Garnish

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 small onion, sliced thinly

3 tablespoons dried mint

 

Instructions

  1. Bring 6 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. If you are using them in dried form, drain the soaked chickpeas and the kidney beans and add them to the water. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. or until they are fork tender. Drain in a colander and rinse. Or, if you are using canned beans, rinse them in a colander and set aside.
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized stockpot and add the split peas. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are just beginning to soften. Drain in a colander and rinse. Set aside.
  3. Heat a very large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring and shaking the pan, for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onions are softened and translucent. Add the garlic and fry for 2 more minutes, taking care not to let it burn. Add the turmeric and cook, stirring, for 30 to 40 seconds.
  4. Add the parsley, cilantro, scallions, spinach, dill and mint. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes and then add the vegetable stock. Mix well. Stir in the salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Mix in the drained chickpeas, kidney beans, and split peas and simmer for 20 minutes.
  6. Add the noodles without breaking them and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked and softened.
  7. While the noodles are simmering, mix the flour and 3 tablespoons of the liquid from the soup in a small bowl. Mix well so there are no lumps (a small whisk is good for this if you have one). In another bowl, mix the whey or yogurt and ¼ cup of the soup broth. Mix well so that the whey or yogurt doesn’t curdle.
  8. Add the flour mixture to the soup, increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, and stir in the whey or yogurt. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until thickened.
  9. While the soup is thickening, make the garnish: heat a small sauté pan with the olive oil and the onion and cook, stirring and shaking the pan, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the mint and continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
  10. Serve the soup in deep bowls topped with the mint and onion mixture.

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