Ash (the a pronounced like the a in Fall) is a very popular Persian dish. It’s a mixture of beans, some sort of grains or reshteh (Persian noodles,) and a lot of herbs and spinach. It is just perfect for this time of year and I’ve never made it! The first time I had it was at friend’s house in CT 5 years ago and never forgot how scrumptious it was.
But Yasmine, I thought you’re eating like a Cavewoman? Well, not all the time. I love beans, I grew up eating them. And let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s a staple in my country! I’m not here to tell you what’s good and not good for you. I will leave it for the wonderful people here to tell you more.
After reading through 10-15 recipes online on how to make Asheh Reshteh or Ash.I was inspired by this and also this, then I decided to make do with whatever ingredients I had at home, after buying some herbs. I gathered some ingredients and started making the soup:
- 1 lb stew beef
- 2 medium sized onions, chopped.
- 1-2 onions sliced, for frying
- 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 11/2 tspn of turmeric
- 3 cups mixed sprouted beans
- 1 cup of (some random grain I found in my pantry. Seriously, I’m not sure what it is.) Barley, may be!
- 1 bunch Parsley
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1/4 cup Chives
- 1/4 cup dill
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 10 cups water + 1 cup Chicken broth
- 2 Tblspns of olive oil + more for frying the onions for garnish
- Yogurt or sour cream for garnish
Here’s how I made the Ash:
- I started by sauteing the onions in 2 Tbspn olive oil until translucent.
- I added the beef and browned it on all sides, then threw in the garlic, turmeric and stirred for few more minutes.
- Then I added the beans, the mysterious grain, 8 cups of water, and the chicken broth.
4- I left the soup to simmer on low heat for about 2 hours. I added more water half way through and gave it few stirs. I started browning the extra 2 onions in some olive oil, I cooked them for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly on medium heat. (The caramelized onions are an essential part of the dish, they add a lot of depth to the mélange flavors in the soup, that’s my humble opinion)
5- When the meat was tender, I took it out and threw it into the food processor as this brilliant recipe suggested, gave it a few pulses until it was chopped.
7- I put the herbs in the pot and let it simmer for 20 more minutes until the spinach was nice and soft and everything was cooked through. At this point, I added salt and pepper and some more turmeric!
8- I Got the fried onions, yogurt, and some soup bowls ready and served my hungry children and husband:)
Bon Appetit or as they say in Persian.. nuş e jan –نوش جان