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Persian noodle soup, or Ash-e-reshteh, is a hearty country stew often served for Norooz, the Persian New Year, but enjoyable year round. It's a hearty meal in a bowl, full of fiber, calcium, protein and spices. Don't be put off by the ingredient list, it's actually pretty easy to make.
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 bunches scallions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 10 cups low sodium vegetable broth or 10 cups chicken stock
- 1⁄4 cup dried lentils, picked through and washed
- 1⁄2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups packed leafy greens, thick stems removed an coarsely chopped (spinach, kale)
- salt, to taste
- 6 ounces whole wheat spaghettini, broken into quarters
- 2 yellow onions, cut in half and thinly sliced
- 1 large handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup canned chick-peas, drained and rinsed
- 1⁄4 cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1⁄2 cup canned navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt, for garnish (optional)
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil with scallions and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes or until the garlic starts to soften.
- Add the turmeric. Cook for a minute to blend the flavors. Add the lentils, parsley, cilantro, spinach/kale, and a pinch of salt. Add the stock, bring to a boil then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes. Add the spaghettini. Simmer for 10 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onions until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add the mint and cook 1 minute more. Set aside.
- Add chickpeas, kidney beans and navy beans to the soup and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Taste for salt. The soup is ready. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and fried onions.
- Recipe adapted from Lucid Food: Cooking for an Eco-Conscious Life by Louisa Shafia, Ten Speed Press, 2010.