The caramelized onions as a garnish are not optional. Just put in the extra effort and make them – it’s worth it.
I used yogurt instead of sour cream, which several of the recipes on the internet call for. The traditional accompaniment is a type of whey, or so I have read. Since I made this, I have been scouring the internet for info on this Iranian dish. It is served on the Persian New Year, which happens to be March 21 (first day of spring), not January 1. Nonetheless, it’s also pretty perfect for a wintery Chicago New Year’s Day.
It also seems that some people make a minty oil by sautéing dried mint in olive oil. Then they drizzle it on top. Next time, I tell you, next time. Probably tomorrow. Seriously, I’m obsessed.
Persian New Year Soup (Ash-e Reshteh)
1 onion, sliced
1-2 red or green chiles, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
8 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups cooked borlotti beans (or white beans)
~200 g dried egg noodles
2 big handfuls fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
juice of two limes
salt and pepper
1 large onion, sliced and caramelized
Start by making the caramelized onion. Heat some oil and/or butter in a pan and sauté the sliced onion over medium heat, stirring occasional until the onions are browned.
In a dutch oven or soup pot, sauté the other onion, chiles, and garlic in some olive oil until soft. Stir in the turmeric and cumin and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper at this point as well.
Add the stock (if using a low-sodium or homemade stock, check the seasoning after you add it). Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium. Add in the beans until warmed through. Stir in the egg noodles and let the soup cook until they are soft – should only take a couple minutes.
Turn off the heat and add the spinach, cilantro, dil, and lime juice. Check one more time for proper seasoning. Top with garnishes and serve.