(Ash-e Reshteh=Noodle Soup in Farsi, Ash=soup, Reshteh=noodle) My aunt-in-law, Pershang, makes the best ash. I once requested she let me observe while she made it. I did, then I went home and followed the Iranian standard cookbook "Food of Life". I also used some of Pershang's twists.
Here is the cookbook's recipe.
Persian noodles are available at Phoncia. Kashk is also available at Phonecia.
1/4 cup red kidney beans, soaked 1/4 cup navy beans, soaked 1/4 cup chickpeas, soaked 3 onions, finely sliced 3 Tbsp. oil 2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper 1 tsp. turmeric 10 cups water 1/2 cup lentils 1 cup beef broth 1/2 cup chives or scallions, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup dill weed, chopped 1/2 cup parsley, coarsely chopped 2 cups spinach(fresh or frozen), chopped 1 beet, peeled and chopped in 1/2 inch pieces 1/2 lb. flat egg noodles or Persian noodles(Reshteh) 1 Tbsp. flour 1 cup liquid kashke or sour cream, or 1/4 cup wine vinegar
*Gheimeh Garnish 1/4 lb. beef, in 1/2 inch cubes 1 small onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, crushed 2 Tbsp. oil 1/2 cup water 2 Tbsp. yellow split peas 1 tsp. tomato paste 1/4 tsp. saffron, dissolved in 1 Tbsp. hot water 1/2 tsp. salt
Soup instructions: In large pot, brown onions in oil. Add salt, 1/4 tsp. of the pepper, and turmeric. Pour in water and add kidney beans. navy beans, and chickpeas. Cover and simmer 45 minutes. Add lentils and broth. Cook 35 minutes. Add scallions, dill, parsley, spinach, and beet. Stir occasionally and cook 20 minutes or until done. Correct seasoning(add the rest of the pepper if needed) and add more water if too thick. Add noodles, flour and cook until noodles are done--about 10 minutes.
If using kashke or sour cream, set aside a heaping Tbsp. for garnish. Stir 2 Tbsp. of soup into remaining sour cream. Stir this mixture slowly into soup. Reheat just before serving, adding more water if it's too thick.
Gheimeh: About 1/2 hour before serving, prepare gheimeh garnish. Brown meat, onion, and garlic in oil. Stir in water and split peas. Cover and cook 20 minutes over low heat. Add tomato paste, saffron, and salt. Simmer covered for 10 minutes.
Mint: While gheimeh is simmering, prepare mint garnish. Brown onion and garlic in oil. Remove from heat. Crush mint flakes in hand and stir into onion. Pour soup into tureen, garnish with gheimeh and mint garnish and reserved sour cream by floating them on top.
Shabak Notes: Instead of using dried beans I used canned. 1 can of beans to 1/4 cup of dried. This made it easier. I also ampped up the mint and added fried onion to the garnish. This is what Pershang does and boy it adds to the taste. I also serve with a dollup of yogurt--the whole milk, Bulgarian kind from Phonecia. God I love this ash...