Ash-e Reshteh

A freezing cold wind chill and a lazy afternoon make me want to have something bubbling on the stove.

We usually make soup every Tuesday...get it? "Souper" Tuesday! But today is Friday and I am cold and I want to eat lunch at 2:30 as a nice break from file cabinet arranging and copious shredding. (It turns out I have grocery receipts from 1998. I am not kidding.)

In the cold of winter I really think about Persian food. In particular, a nice heavy pot filled with something bubbling and making the house smell fantastic all day. I have not really attempted anything Persian since I began eating plant-based, so I consulted a couple of cookbooks and the internet and suddenly developed a raging desire to make some Ash-e Reshteh--or "Aaash" as we refer to it.

I swapped some things and added others experimenting a little bit. It helped that I had just finished making some vegetable stock. I've gotta pat myself on the back with this one. I hit it out of the park. Give it a shot:

1/4 cup vegetable/olive oil (whatever your jam)

2 large onions, thinly sliced

Sauté these over medium heat in a heavy soup pot for about 10 minutes

5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Add these and sauté another couple of minutes

1/4 cup dried chick peas

1/4 cup dried beans of your choosing (I used navy and a few fava beans) black/kidney/cannellini/etc

6 cups vegetable broth or water (see note at end)

Add these to pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook about an hour.

1/4 cup dried lentils

2 carrots, sliced

1 Tbsp. dried dill

2 Tbsp. dried parsley

Add these to pot and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until beans are edible.

1/4 pound linguini broken into thirds

1 Tbsp. flour dissolved in 1 cup of water

3 cups coarsely chopped spinach

Add these to soup and simmer about 10 minutes

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup rice vinegar

Add these to the soup. Remove from heat and stir well.

Serve.

A note about vegetable stock: Every time we chop up some vegetables when cooking we save the trimmed pieces in a large bag in the crisper. Things like carrot, onion, garlic peels. potato skins, leek tops, broccoli and celery bottoms. You get the idea. When it is reasonably full, I just dump the contents into a soup pot, fill with water, and simmer for a couple of hours. Eventually I strain it and freeze into 2-cup portions. These are so handy to have for our "souper Tuesdays". Then, like the tree hugger I am, I dump the strained bits into the compost bin to help produce more veggies next year.