Today, I have for you a special Persian soup for the Persian New Year (Nowruz) – Ash Reshteh. It’s hearty, chock full of flavours and vegetarian! A vegetarian soup that you can enjoy all year around with chickpeas, legumes, greens, noodles and fried onions. You won’t miss meat and will be full and content for hours! Nowruz Mobarak!
Nowruz Mobarak! Nowruz, the Persian New Year, is marked by the beginning of Spring. While it is predominantly celebrated by the Persian communities, it remains an important celebration in various ethnic communities, including Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Parsi community in India, the Pashto and Baloch communities in Pakistan, Albania and even Georgia. Nowruz is traditionally celebrated with spring cleaning, decorative tables, music, and of course lots of food!
My first exposure to this festivity was in Malaysia from the Iranian student population at our campus. I was familiar with Iranian/Persian food from my childhood in Saudi Arabia – which has a substantial Iranian community. But I had not tried anything that is specially made for Nowruz. I came across a hearty soup made during Nowruz on a food travel documentary on Food Network. I don’t remember the name of the show but I remember drooling over the recipe. A special noodle – Reshteh is used to make this vegetarian soup, with chickpeas, lentils and lots of herbs.
I wasn’t able to find Reshteh in my area, so Linguine was used as a substitute. Kashk is whey that I also did not have so I substituted with Greek Yogurt. This soup is hearty, healthy, chock full of flavours, and most importantly perfect for meatless Mondays! I had this soup for days and I did not get tired of it. It’s just that good! For the Persian year 1396 (and perhaps subsequent years) I hope you try and share this recipe with your family and friends!
If you celebrate this holiday, do you have any special traditions you’d love to share or family recipes that I could attempt to make? Would love to hear them!
A Persian vegetarian soup that is traditionally made during Nowruz, the Persian New year.
- 1 onion diced
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 cup dried chickpeas soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup dried red kidney beans soaked overnight
- 1 cup dried lentils soaked 2 hours
- 1 tbsp salt
- 7 1/2 cups water
- 1 tsp dried mint
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 cup chopped coriander
- 1 cup chopped spring onion (scallion) green parts only
- 2 cups spinach washed
- 100 g reshteh (Persian noodles) or substitute with Linguine
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1/4 cup fried onions
- Kashk (whey) or Greek yogurt
- Fried onions
Saute onions, add turmeric and cook 1 minute.
Add chickpeas, kidney bean, lentils and salt.
Add water and mint.
Stir, cover and cook on medium heat for 1 1/2 hours.
Add parsley, coriander, spring onion and spinach. Cook for 20 minutes.
Add Reshteh or Linguine, cook another 10 minutes.
Mix 1 tbsp flour with 4 tbsp stock. Dissolve in soup.
Add fried onions and stir.
Serve with Kashk or Greek Yogurt and Fried Onions. Enjoy!
Watch how to make Ash Reshteh