Ash Reshteh (Persian Vegetable Noodle Soup) on a table in a Studio
Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post
The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Ash Reshteh (Persian Vegetable Noodle Soup)

This thick soup contains a hearty mix of beans and herbs as well as noodles.

Traditional recipes require soaking the beans overnight and even changing the water twice before cooking with them. Here, we’re using canned beans.

To read the accompanying story, see: I’ll miss the bonfire, but my Nowruz will taste like home.

Whey (cheese) is called kashk, or kishk, and it is available in the refrigerated section of Middle Eastern markets; here, we are using the liquid form as a sauce.

The onions and garlic can be cooked a few days in advance.

From Washington cook Yeganeh Rezaian.


measuring cup
Servings: 8
  • 7 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Cloves from 1 head garlic, minced (0.25 to 1/3 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons dried ground mint
  • 6 cups water, plus 4 cups hot water
  • 1/3 cup cooked, no-salt-added brown/green lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup canned, no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup canned no-salt-added kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups fresh mixed chopped herbs, such as chives, parsley, cilantro and/or dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flour (optional)
  • Whey (may substitute drained plain Greek-style yogurt; see headnote)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried, broken linguine or other wheat noodle about the same width
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Step 1

    Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a pot over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the onions; cook for about 8 minutes, until softened and golden in color. Stir in the turmeric until the onion is evenly colored. Transfer to a bowl.

  2. Step 2

    Add 2 more tablespoons of the oil to the pot; once it shimmers, stir in the garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and almost crisp. Transfer to a small bowl.

  3. Step 3

    Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot; once the oil shimmers, stir in 1 tablespoon of the dried mint. Cook for about a minute, stirring, just until the mint has darkened in color; watch closely to avoid scorching or it will become bitter. Transfer to a separate small bowl.

  4. Step 4

    Return half the onions and garlic to the pot, plus the remaining 2 tablespoons of dried mint; reserve the rest of the onions and garlic to use as a garnish. Add 6 cups of the water, bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the lentils, chickpeas and all the beans, then reduce heat to medium; cook uncovered for about 50 minutes, until beans are almost tender.

  5. Step 5

    Pour in 2 cups of hot water, then add all the fresh herbs. Cook for 20 minutes (medium heat).

  6. Step 6

    If you would like to thicken the soup, whisk the flour in 1 cup of the hot water, then stir that into the pot.

  7. Step 7

    Also, if you use the whey, add 2 tablespoons before adding noodles. You can skip the whey, or add it as garnish on top, but it adds a pleasant sourness that most Iranians love.

  8. Step 8

    Stir in the noodles; cook for about 12 minutes (medium heat) or until tender and the beans are quite soft. Add the remaining cup of hot water. Taste, and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

  9. Step 9

    Use a ladle to transfer soup into serving bowls. Wait for 1 minute before topping with remaining caramelized onions, garlic flakes, mixture of fried mint oil and whey, which helps to thicken the soup.

  10. Step 10

    Serve warm.

Nutritional Facts

Per serving (using 1 teaspoon salt)

  • Calories


  • Carbohydrates

    27 g

  • Fat

    13 g

  • Fiber

    4 g

  • Protein

    6 g

  • Saturated Fat

    1 g

  • Sodium

    300 mg

  • Sugar

    3 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From Washington cook Yeganeh Rezaian.

Tested by Yeganeh Rezaian