Persian Bean and Lentil Soup
with All the Toppings
In honor of the Persian New Year, called Norooz, we’re making a variation of our favorite Persian soup: ash reshteh. Thick with noodles, lentils, and beans, it still harkens spring with its copious greens in the form of chopped spinach, cilantro, and parsley. But what really makes this earthy soup is the garnishes: a spritz of sprightly lemon, dried mint, Aleppo pepper, and crackly fried onions. However you like it—spicy, sour, thoroughly mixed, or each bite carefully curated—just be sure to pile the toppings on, going back for seconds if needed.
- 1/2 cup brown lentils
- 1 tablespoon fenugreek seeds
- Fresh turmeric
- 1 onion
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
- 1 package cooked kidney beans
- 3 ounces whole wheat linguine
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 1/4 oz Fresh parsley
- 1/4 oz Fresh cilantro
- 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- *not included
- **one head of garlic included in one of the meal bags
Rinse the lentils in a colander and pick them over, removing anything that doesn’t look like it belongs. Put a dry large pot over medium heat, add the fenugreek seeds, and toast, tossing frequently until they’re fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the lentils and 5 cups water, bring to a boil, and lower the heat so it bubbles moderately. Rinse, peel, and chop the turmeric. Add it to the pot, cover, and cook until the lentils are just tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim, peel, and slice the onion; sprinkle with the flour and toss to coat. Put the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re crisp and browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onions to a towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Drain and rinse the beans in a colander. Break the pasta into 2-inch pieces and add them to the lentils along with the beans and a big pinch each of salt and pepper. Adjust the heat so the mixture returns to a moderate bubble, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally until the pasta is barely tender; start tasting after 5 minutes.
Rinse, trim, and dry the spinach, parsley, and cilantro. Chop them all together into bite-sized pieces, add to the soup, and stir. Cover the pot, remove it from the heat, and let it sit until the spinach softens, 1 or 2 minutes. Rinse and quarter the lemon. Taste and adjust the seasoning of the soup. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with onions and a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle with dried mint and a small pinch of Aleppo or more, depending on your affinity for heat.