Persian noodle soup, or Ash-e-reshteh, is a hearty country stew often served for Norooz, the Persian New Year, but you don’t have to wait until then to enjoy it, especially if you’re on a neutropenic diet. 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.
1. 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.
2. Add the turmeric. Cook for a minute to blend the flavors. Add the lentils, parsley, cilantro, spinach, and a pinch of salt. Stir to mix. 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.
3. Meanwhile, over a medium high flame, 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.
4. 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.
- 7 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 bunches scallions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 10 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
- ¼ cup dried lentils, picked through and washed.
- ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups packed leafy greens (spinach, kale), thick stems removed and coarsely chopped
- 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
- ½ cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup canned kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup canned navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt, for garnish (optional)