|In Iran, Persian carpets are so cheap and plentiful,|
they use them as disposable tablecloths.
"Ashesh Reshteh" is considered "Persian Ash", which is a type of thick soup. Ash can contain many ingredients, from vegetables to meat, and if hearty enough, can become the meal. e.g. "Ash Reshteh" would be a variation with noodles, "Ash-e anar" contains pomegranate juice and split peas, and there are many other variations.
2 onions, large, thin slice (length wise)
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c dried chickpeas (optional: or 1 can)
1/3 c dried red beans
1/2 c dried lentils
2 t turmeric
1 to 2 bags spinach
60g (2 oz) flat noodles (fettucini or iranian "reshteh" noodles. can use angel hair pasta or the fine egg noodles found in middle eastern grocer)
1 T flour
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 T dried mint
sour cream (or yogurt)
For the legumes, you can use either 1 can of drained & rinsed beans, or 2/3 cup of dried beans (chickpeas are mandatory, and in addition, red beans or pinto may be added). If using dried, soak beans for a few hours in water, then drain and rinse. In a large soup pot (preferably enamelled cast iron), soften the onions and garlic in olive oil on med heat, until translucent. Add the soaked (or canned) chickpeas, red beans, and turmeric. Cook, stirring for a few minutes. Add 8 cups of cold water. Season with salt, and simmer covered for 1 hour to cook the beans (not necessary if using canned). Add the spinach, noodles (approx 3" segments) and dried lentils to the pot. Gently simmer the soup for one half hour, stirring occasionally. (Optional: If you wish, you can also add chopped fresh herbs, ie. coriander, parsley, mint (about 2-3 cups) and/or chopped leeks (about 1 cup)).
In a small bowl, mix the tablespoon of flour with 3T of the soup stock until smooth, add to the soup to thicken (soup should be thick). Gently simmer one half hour longer (or longer if desired), stirring occasionally to prevent scorching on the pot. (n.b. Soup may be served later or the next day, to allow flavors to develop).
While the soup is cooking, in a separate skillet, sweat the onion in olive oil (sauté on med. until translucent). Then lower the heat and cook until browned and caramelized. Add dried mint near the end of the cooking. Then, when plating the soup in bowls, add this as a garnish in the centre of the finished soup, along with a drizzle of sour cream (often done in a cross or "x" pattern across the soup). (Optional: You can also add in chopped spring onions or fresh chives. Some variations even include small meatballs).