Persian Soup – Ash

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.

Moving on…

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:

  1. I started by sauteing the onions in 2 Tbspn olive oil until translucent.
  2. I added the beef and browned it on all sides, then threw in the garlic, turmeric and stirred for few more minutes.
  3. 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.

6- I put the meat back in the pot and let it simmer for few more minutes while I finished chopping all the herbs and spinach.

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

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3 thoughts on “Persian Soup – Ash

  1. Leslie Galacar

    I am going to try this recipe this weekend! It looks scrumptious! And very comforting.
    How were you able to do so much chopping, stirring, tasting and serving with a 1.5 year old
    running around??? I am impressed!

    Reply
  2. whilehewasout

    I had to smile on this: 1 cup of (some random grain I found in my pantry. Seriously, I’m not sure what it is.) Barley, may be! 😀 Anyway, the recipe sounds great and it looks like a really rich and delicious dish, thank you for sharing!

    Reply

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