I love the sharpness the kashk gives to this very hearty soup. All aash-e are even better if left to sit for a few hours so that the flavours can intensify.
This delicious aash-e is traditionally served for Nowruz, the Persian New Year, and the reshteh noodles are used to symbolise the future of your life in the year to come.
- 180 g (6½ oz) dried chickpeas
- 180 g (6½ oz) dried kidney beans
- 2 onions, chopped
- olive oil, for frying
- 3–4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- 200 g (7 oz) dried brown lentils, washed
- 2.5 litres (85 fl oz/10 cups) good chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 bunch each flat-leaf parsley and coriander (cilantro), chopped
- ½ bunch dill, chopped
- 1 bunch chives or spring onions (scallions), roughly chopped
- 1 bunch baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- 150 g (51/2 oz) reshteh noodles or use linguini, broken into thirds
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, finely sliced
- olive oil, for frying
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 3 tbsp dried mint
- ½ tsp ground saffron, dissolved in 1 tbsp boiling water
- 250 g (9 oz/1 cup) kashk (fermented yoghurt) or blend 100 g (3½ oz) goat’s feta and 200 g (7 oz) plain Greek yoghurt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time: overnight
1. Place the chickpeas and kidney beans in separate bowls, cover both with water and leave to soak overnight.
2. The next day, in a large saucepan, fry the onion in a little olive oil. Add the garlic, turmeric, cumin and chilli and fry for a couple of minutes, then add the drained chickpeas, beans and lentils.
3. Pour the stock into the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 1½ hours, or until the pulses are tender.
4. Add the chopped herbs, spinach and noodles to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Stir everything together well, cover with a lid and cook over medium–low heat for a further 15 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the garnish. Fry the onion in a little olive oil until golden, then add the garlic and turmeric and mix together well. In a separate small frying pan, fry the mint in a little olive oil for 5 minutes until darkened.
6. Pour the soup into a large serving bowl or individual bowls and top with the fried onion and mint mixtures. Spoon over the kashk, then drizzle over the liquid saﬀron to ﬁnish.
Pardiz by Manuela Darling-Gansser (Hardie Grant Books, $60.00). Photography by Simon Griffiths & Ebrahim Khadem Bayat.