This hearty soup has origins in Persian and Afghanistan. It is traditionally known as Aush and is eaten for Persian New Year. I find it to be super comforting and a great way to use up odds and ends of the fridge/garden/pantry. I have already included some easy substitutions for hard to find ingredients.

  • 2 cups dried beans – you can use a bag of multi-bean soup mix or any combination of the following: navy, chickpea, kidney, pinto, black-eyed pea – soaked overnight
  • 2 onions – 1/2 diced, 1 1/2 sliced into thin half moons
  • 1 celery stick – sliced or diced
  • 1 carrot – sliced or diced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pound chopped greens – fresh or frozen – kale, chard, spinach, sorrel, mustard, collard (you get the idea!)
  • 1/2 cup brown, green or black lentils
  • 4 cups chopped soft herbs – parsley, cilantro, dill, mint, scallion, chive – I used dry mint and dill
  • 8 oz dried fine egg noodles or broken linguine
  • Garnish: 1 cup Greek Yogurt mixed with 1/4 cup milk and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt – it’s delicious! You could also use a little sour cream, thinned with a touch of milk.
  1. Get out a soup pot or Dutch oven and a small skillet. Put the Dutch oven over a medium flame, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the diced onion, carrots and celery. Season with salt and pepper and let soften for about 5 minutes.
  2. Drain the beans that have been soaking over night and add them to the pot, along with the turmeric, garlic, bay leaf, water and more salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and lower to a simmer. Let the beans cook for about 90 minutes.
  3. In the mean time, add the remaining oil to the skillet along with the sliced onions. Very slowly, on a medium-low flame, caramelize the onions. You can add a little water to get them cooking, but you want to let them get a dark brown, stirring more often as the onions get more golden brown and delicious. Set aside for later.
  4. After 90 minutes of simmering, add the lentils, greens and herbs. Stir well. The mixture will be very thick – you can add another cup or two of water to keep everything covered. Put the lid back on the pot and simmer for another 30 minutes.
  5. Taste a bean and make sure it is tender and creamy. Taste the broth and make sure it has enough seasoning. Stir in the raw noodles, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let the soup sit for at least 15 minutes to soften the noodles. We like it to sit about an hour to meld flavors and then heat up a few portions for our dinner.
  6. Top your bowl with a drizzle of the salted yogurt (or sour cream) and some of the caramelized onions. YUM!

*This soup is even better reheated – just add a little more water. It also freezes like a dream.