Enjoy the intense flavors of Ash Reshteh, a traditional vegetarian Persian soup dish made with legumes, onions, noodles, loads of herbs, and a delicious buttermilk and yogurt sauce called “kahsk”!
What is ash reshteh?
Ash reshteh, also referred to as “Persian noodle soup” or “Persian legume soup,” is an Iranian dish made with traditional reshteh noodles, lentils, and beans. The name makes sense, as “ash” translates to thick soup, and “reshteh” to noodle!
Ash reshteh is particularly flavorful thanks in part to a long list of herbs as well as a thick sauce called kashk. The herb-rich soup is a traditional dish enjoyed during the Persian New Year “Norurz.” And today, it’s what’s for dinner!
Though the ingredient list may feel long, it’s the perfect “use up your herbs” soup, meaning most of the items are likely already in your spice cabinet and pantry. Check out the ingredient list, go raid your pantry, and let’s get to it!
What does this Persian Noodle Soup taste like?
This meal has many great qualities, one of them being its long nutrient list. Thanks to the lentils, beans, and chickpeas, it’s loaded with protein, fiber, and complex carbs. The buttermilk and yogurt “kashk” contribute fats, and greens are snuck in through spinach and fresh herbs.
Persian legume soup hits the major macros and supplies nutrients. It’s a great option that will leave you feeling satisfied and full of energy!
Ingredients In ash reshteh
Ash reshteh is made in three parts: the soup, the sauce, and the minted oil. The bulk of the soup is made with a lot of canned goods and spices, so double check your pantry before heading to the store! As for the sauce and oil, you’ll only need four additional ingredients to make your dish complete.
- The Soup: The soup portion of this recipe will be made with a base of green lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, flat reshteh noodles, and water. The flavors come to play when we add olive oil, white onions, garlic, lemon juice, spinach, and a world of herbs and seasonings: turmeric, cilantro, parsley, dill, and salt.
- The Sauce: Next up is the sauce, kashk! This portion adds a boatload of flavor, despite the fact that it’s only made with two ingredients: buttermilk and plain, unflavored yogurt.
- Minted Oil: Finally, we will complete this dish with a minted oil created with… you guessed it: mint and oil! This is used to add a slightly sweet flavor.
Authentic ash reshteh uses reshteh (noodles) and kashk sauce, however, these can be difficult to find in western stores.
To replace the reshteh, feel free to use fettuccini or any thin, flat noodle.
As for the kashk, a mixture of buttermilk and yogurt will give us the same flavor while also contributing to the thickness and texture of the soup.
How to make Persian ash reshteh
This vegetarian ash reshteh will require just over an hour to make, but half of that is dedicated to the onions alone! In full, it’s an easy dish that even beginners can nail. We’re breaking it down into seven digestible steps:
Step 1: Caramelize the onions
First, heat the oil in a large pot or pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until they turn brown and caramelize. It should take about 20 to 30 minutes. If the onions begin to crisp at the edges, reduce the heat — we want them soft and caramelized! When finished, remove half of the onions and reserve them for the topping.
Step 2: Create the flavor base
Add the garlic and turmeric to the pan with half of the onions. Cook until the garlic is soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Step 3: Prepare the lentils
Add the lentils and water to the pot. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Cook everything
Next, add the chickpeas, kidney beans, noodles, spinach, and all of the herbs to the pot. Cover and cook until the noodles are tender. When finished, add the lemon juice and salt. Taste and add more salt as needed.
Step 5: Create the kashk
While everything cooks, stir together the buttermilk and yogurt to create the kashk.
Step 6: Prepare the minted oil
To prepare the minted oil, heat the oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add the mint and cook for about 30 seconds.
Step 7: Assemble the dish
Finally, ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with the reserved caramelized onions, kashk, and minted oil.
Storing leftover Persian soup
Extra ash reshteh can be stored in an airtight container. Keep it refrigerated and enjoy within 1-2 days.
To reheat, simply heat on the stove for a few minutes or warm by microwaving for 30-second increments.
Recipes to pair with Ash Reshteh
There’s something classic about a soup and sandwich combo, so you can never go wrong by pairing this soup with an Avocado, Pressed Eggplant, Caprese Panini, or Chickpea Tuna Melt sandwich.
For something different, a refreshing side salad is always a good choice! Enjoy your soup with Summer Veggie, Thai Cucumber, Citrus Watercress, or Curried Melon salad.
Hungry for more Persian recipes? Check out these recipes from Shadi and Roxana!
Ash Reshteh (the soup)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
- 2 large white onions finely sliced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ cup green lentils 88 g
- 10 cups water 2.3 L
- 1 15-oz can chickpeas drained, 425 g
- 1 15-oz can kidney beans drained, can sub pinto beans, 425 g
- 8 oz uncooked flat noodles like fettuccine or reshteh, 226 g
- 5 oz fresh spinach finely chopped, 141 g
- 1 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped, 20 g
- 1 cup fresh parsley finely chopped, 20 g
- ¼ cup fresh dill finely chopped, 5 g
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice 30 mL
- ¼ tsp salt
Kashk (the sauce)
- 1 cup buttermilk 226 mL
- 1 cup plain yogurt 220 g
- 2 Tbsp olive oil 30 mL
- 2 Tbsp dried mint
- Caramelize Onions: Heat oil in a large pot or pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until they turn brown and caramelize, about 20 to 30 minutes. If onions begin to crisp at the edges, reduce heat – we want them soft and delicious! When finished, remove half of the onions and reserve them for the topping.
- Flavor Base: To the pan with the remaining onions, add garlic and turmeric. Cook until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Cook Lentils: Add the lentils and water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Cook Everything: Add chickpeas, kidney beans, noodles, spinach, and all herbs. Cover and cook until noodles are tender. When finished, add lemon juice and salt. Taste and add more salt, as needed.
- Kashk: While everything cooks, stir together buttermilk and yogurt.
- Minted Oil: Heat oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add mint and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Assemble: Ladle soup into serving bowls, topping with reserved caramelized onions, kashk, and minted oil.
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