1st December 2017 / Erica Cohen
500g of Persian ‘reshtey’ noodles
1 tin of red kidney beans, drained
1 tin of chickpeas, drained
100g brown lentils
100g mung beans
Large bunch of coriander, finely chopped
Large bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
400g of spinach
6 medium turnips, peeled and halved
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons oil
Salt and ground black pepper
Kashk (liquid whey) can be replaced with sour cream or natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons of dried mint
2 tablespoons of raisins
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
‘Reshtey’ are the special Iranian noodles which make this dish truly authentic. These flat strips will puff up when cooked, adding thickness and saltiness to the soup. Reshtey is often branded as pottage macaroni (just to confuse you) and can be found in all Iranian food stores.
So, let’s begin…
1 – Rinse the lentils and mung beans with cold water, drain and leave to one side.
2 – Boil the mung beans vigorously for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and rinse with cold water.
3 – In a large saucepan, fry half the chopped onion in one tablespoon of oil until lightly golden. Add the turmeric and season with pepper and a little salt.
4 – Add 1½ litres of boiling water together with the mung beans, lentils and turnips. Let this boil for 5 minutes on a high heat. Then lower to a medium heat and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
5 – While the soup is cooking you can prepare the onion garnish. Fry the remaining chopped onion in a small frying pan until golden brown. Add the mint and raisins and stir until the onion becomes crispy.
6 – After 20 minutes, test the turnips with a fork to check they have softened slightly but are still firm. Then break the noodles into 2-inch strips and add them to the soup, stirring continually to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add some boiling water if the mixture gets too thick.
7 – While the noodles are cooking, add the spinach, coriander, parsley, chickpeas and kidney beans and continue to stir. After 8-10 minutes the noodles should be cooked and will be soft and puffy.
8 – Remove from the heat and serve in bowls with a dollop of kashk, Greek or natural yoghurt on top. Add a spoonful of the fried onions mixture and you’re good to go!