A Your Level Best Riff on Ash-e-reshteh


The recipe for this week is more of a riff than a healthier version.  Ash-e-reshteh is already healthy.  It’s a recipe from the Middle East that uses noodles and beans with caramelized onions.  I was inspired by the story from the Huffington Post:  This Persian Noodle Soup Recipe Is The One-Pot Wonder You Need. This story talks about marrying into a family with different types of cuisines than what the author is used to.  While we are neither Jewish or Middle Eastern, I thought the recipe would be a great addition to our healthy recipe repertoire.  I am calling this more of a riff because I am not taking anything out or changing anything.  I am making a couple of additions.  This soup only takes its protein from beans.  However, the way this recipe works, there isn’t enough.  I am going to add some meat to the soup to make it higher in protein.  I am also going to add some carrot and red bell pepper to the onions as they caramelize to lend a more complex flavor and add vitamin A and C.  One thing I am not going to change is the pasta.  I’ll use a gluten-free version, but I haven’t decided to take it out.  I haven’t used pasta in a recipe yet, so why not?

A note when making a dish with dried beans.  If your beans are really old, soak them in water with some baking soda.  Use 1/4 teaspoon per pound of beans.  It prevent you from finding out after you try to cook them, they won’t soften.  I ended up adding 1/4 teaspoon to the cooking liquid because my beans did not fully soften, even after cooking for longer.  Do this carefully because you don’t want to alter the taste of the dish.

Here are the original stats to this recipe:

  • 284 Calories
  • 8g Fat
  • 0mg Cholesterol
  • 191mg Sodium
  • 371mg Potassium
  • 47g Carbohydrate
  • 13g Protein
  • 40% Vitamin A
  • 31% Vitamin C
  • 9% Calcium
  • 19% Iron

With all of the changes, here are the new stats:

  • 282 Calories
  • 6g Fat
  • 36mg Cholesterol
  • 213mg Sodium
  • 522mg Potassium
  • 40g Carbohydrate
  • 20g Protein
  • 124% Vitamin A
  • 115% Vitamin C
  • 16% Calcium
  • 20% Iron

Here is the final recipe:


A Your Level Best Riff on Ash-e-reshteh

Serves 9

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 6 ounces red bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 carrots, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dried navy beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup dried kidney beans, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup brown lentils
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 5 cups baby spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 cup parsley, minced
  • 1 cup cilantro, minced
  • 6 scallions, minced
  • 8 ounces dried linguine
  1. In an 8-quart pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, red bell pepper, carrot, and the garlic and cook until softened and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the turmeric and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Transfer one-third of the onions to a bowl for garnish, set aside.
  2. To the onion mixture, add the ground turkey and cook until brown.  Add the water, navy beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils and salt, then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to achieve a low simmer and cook, covered, until the beans are tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
  3. Stir in the spinach, parsley, cilantro and scallions and cook until dark green, 10 minutes. Add the pasta and continue to simmer until the noodles are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.



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