This recipe for Persian-style bean and noodle soup is the latest in a monthly series of recipes I have created in association with Suma Wholefoods. In these recipes, I use products from Suma’s extensive range of organic and ethically sourced products, and the recipes appear both here on my blog and on the Suma website.
The recipe is my vegan interpretation of a dish called ash reshteh, a winter staple in Iran and Azerbaijan. It is utterly delicious, healthy, comforting and extremely moreish.
Persian-style bean and noodle soup
2 onions, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
250 g organic spinach
1 leek, finely sliced
1 can organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 can organic haricot beans, rinsed and drained
150 g organic green lentils, washed and drained
200 g organic vegan linguini
1.5 litres vegetable stock
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground turmeric
15 g fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
10 g fresh parsley, finely chopped
10 g fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried mint
juice of a lemon
15 ml extra virgin olive oil
for the crispy onions
1 onion, thinly sliced
10 ml sunflower oil
4-6 tbsp organic coconut yoghurt
1. First prepare the crispy onions that will be served with the soup. Pour the sunflower oil into a pan and place over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-10 minutes or until the onion is soft and beginning to brown. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes or until the onions have become crispy and darker in colour. Remove from the heat and leave to drain on kitchen paper.
2. For the soup, pour the olive oil into a large pot which has a lid. As soon as the oil is hot, add the thinly sliced onion and leek. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring, until the onion is soft and translucent and the leek is tender. Add the garlic and the turmeric, continuing to stir for another two minutes before adding the green lentils and then the stock. Stir to combine, bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Place a lid on the pot and cook for 15 minutes, or until the lentils are just tender.
3. Remove the lid from the pot. Stir in the drained chickpeas and haricot beans, followed by the sea salt and spinach. Stir in most of the chopped coriander, parsley and dill, reserving a tablespoonful for garnish . Bring to a gentle simmer, replace the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes.
4. Next, add the linguine and the dried mint. Cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 12-15 minutes or until the linguine is just cooked. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Carefully drizzle a spoonful of coconut yoghurt on to the top of the soup and then sprinkle with the fried onions and the reserved chopped herbs. Serve immediately.