Slow Cooker Asheh Reshteh ~ Persian Noodle Soup

by My Persian Kitchen on March 15, 2013

I have been meaning to post slow cooker Persian recipes for a while. It is only fit that I begin this series with the one recipe that I make year after year.  In fact, every single year for our Norouz Party I load up my two slow cookers with the ingredients for Asheh Reshteh and let the slow cooker do its magic while I prep Sabzi Polow, Kuku Sabzi, and the fish for our guests.

There are few good things about making this hearty soup in a slow cooker. First, I have more room on my stove to cook the other items, most importantly I have plenty of room for my huge pot of rice. Second, I don’t have to constantly stir the soup. Finally, I can simply serve the soup in the crockpot instead of using a serving dish.

This is a great recipe to simply load up before going to work and coming home to a delicious smelling home! Before I go any further thought, let me share some of my personal beliefs when it comes to cooking with a slow cooker. In the past seven years that I have owned slow cookers I have experimented a lot and learned valuable cooking lessons.  I will share my tips and findings as they apply as I post each recipes. With that said, one thing remains a common factor when it comes to using a slow cooker: in order for the food to really taste good, you must do some prep work before placing the ingredients in the pot. Through trial and error I have found that it’s very difficult to get a meal that tastes good by simply throwing the raw ingredients in a slow cooker and let it cook for hours.

As far as Asheh Reshteh is concerned, it is pretty important to sauté the onion and garlic. Also, it’s best to add the noodles in the last hour or so of the cooking period, because otherwise they will simply be overcooked and fall apart.

The other thing that I would like to mention is that slow cookers do not all operate at the same rate. Our oval slow cooker arrives to a simmer much faster than our round one. So when I load them up in the morning of our party, I also have to make sure that I keep that in mind so that the flavor of both pots is consistent.

Ingredients

2 large onions, sliced thinly length wise
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup chickpeas
1/3 cup red beans
1/2 cup lentils
2 tsp turmeric
3 cups fresh parsley (packed)
2 cups fresh cilantro (packed)
2 cups fresh mint (packed)
20 springs of fresh chives or  scallions ( green portion of scallions only)
1 1/2 lb. baby spinach
2 oz reshteh
1 tbsp flour
kashk, whey ( sour cream can be substituted for kashk)

The night before this recipe is cooked, soak red beans and chickpeas in water. Sauté onion and garlic until past translucent. Then add turmeric and continue to sauté for another 5 minutes or so. Set onion and garlic aside until ready to load slow cooker.

In the morning, first turn on slow cooker. Then load onion and garlic mixture along with chickpeas, red beans, and lentils.

Add chopped herbs. Now this is where previously packaged Frozen Herbs come in handy. I used my own package that I had previously made.

Season the ingredients with salt and pepper. Then mix well.

Add spinach on top and push down as much as possible.


Add 8 cups of water and place the cover on. In my slow cooker this recipe can be cooked on high in 4 1/2 hours or on slow in about 8 hours.

An hour before the recipe is ready, in a bowl mix flour with half a cup of broth from the soup. Then add back to the pot and mix well. At this point adjust seasoning as needed.

Then add noodles. If cooking on low temperature, then turn the temp to high, and continue cooking for one more hour so that the noodles cook all the way through. If cooking on high, then continue cooking without changing the temperature.  When ready, serve with a dollop of Kashk.

If you are home while this recipe is made, then I suggest stirring the soup a couple of times as the spinach loses its volume as it cooks in the first hour. If you are loading the soup in the morning before going to work, then I would load the slow cooker and get it going first thing in the morning. In my case by the time I shower, get dressed, have breakfast and I am ready to go out the door, the spinach has wilted considerably.

As I mentioned before, slow cookers vary from brand to brand, so it’s important to experiment a couple times with the cooking time until you get it down to a science.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Monica March 15, 2013 at 3:00 pm

thank you so much for this recipe. Once i saw it on facebook , jumped on it! I will definitely make this and report. I love Asheh reshteh but this way will way way too easy to make. Thanks for all you do and updates you put into your web site. Dastetoun dard nakoneh.

Amanda March 15, 2013 at 3:03 pm

What a gorgeous use of the slow-cooker. With autumn just starting here in Australia this is one I will be making very soon. I have found that often dishes that I cook in the slow cooker all taste very similar, unless I really beef up the seasonings by adding extra, or putting them in later. I’ll be interested to see if this maintains it’s flavour.

Caroline March 16, 2013 at 2:23 pm

One of my absolute favorites! Looks great and looking forward to trying it…when I’m feeling waaay more ambitious. In the interim, do you have any experience/recommendations re: using the dehydrated herb packages?

ARIANA March 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Hi, I appreciate all your posts. I want to make kabob barg at home. I have bought meat (for carne asada) and wanted your advice on how to marinade it (I know I should have used filet mignon, but I wanted to do it on a lower budget). Can you share? Thanks again and I am so proud of your website. It makes Iranian food very fun for me. I also grew up intimidated, but now am conquering …with your help.

Ariana

Dan March 17, 2013 at 8:53 pm

There are 2 types of slow cookers. Old ones and new ones. The old ones, which are not made anymore, are usually round and are true slow cookers. They cook at low heat. The new ones cook at higher heat even on the lowest setting because it was decided there was a chance of bacteria being nurtured at low heat. So in fact the new slow cookers are worthless as a slow cooker. Look for an old one at a garage sale if you want a real slow cooker.

My Persian Kitchen March 18, 2013 at 9:20 pm

Ariana, I have never made Barg at home. But you need to tenderize the meat if you are not using filet mignon. I would simply buy the Sadaf packaging for Barg and use that. But if you don’t have access to it, I’d marinate it onion and yogurt then season it with salt.

My Persian Kitchen March 18, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Caroline, I just posted a recipe with dried herbs to make Kuku.

frank March 24, 2013 at 11:54 am

l like it keep up good work

Stephanie March 25, 2013 at 5:09 am

Hello from London, can you tell me what a the are noodles called for the
Ash. I love the website, also the recipe for the fresh herbs and how
to freeze. I do have a lot of dried herbs in my freezer at the moment
my in-laws kindly sent me, can you tell me how much I should use.
When I have used them up I will use the fresh …so much better.
Thank you for so many lovely….well explained recipes.

My Persian Kitchen March 25, 2013 at 11:14 am

Stephanie, the noodles for the Ash are called Reshteh. Here is the recipe for how to freeze fresh herbs: http://mypersiankitchen.com/frozen-persian-herbs/
As far as the dried herbs are concerned, do you know what type of herbs they are? Are they a mix or individual herbs?

Stephanie March 25, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Thank you for the info, the mix is of parsley, dill and coriander I think.

My Persian Kitchen March 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Stephanie, you can definitely use the mix for Kuku Sabzi, but usually dill does not go in Asheh Reshteh. I hope this helps!

Sharmel September 29, 2013 at 6:24 pm

I was at my friends in LA all last week and they had a big batch of this, well I fell in love with it and kept craving. I love your website and have made a couple other dishes (Salad Oliveh and the Okra stew – without meat however) they were winners so was very happy to see this recipe. Well I made it, prepped everything last night and threw it together in the crockpot this morning…….I must say, absolutely perfect and delicious!!! Thanks so much :-)

Hossein February 27, 2014 at 3:47 am

I loved this. Can you make it with chicken or chicken broth? I like taste of meat in my soup. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with us.

My Persian Kitchen February 28, 2014 at 1:37 pm

Hossein, you can. I would do a quick as far as the chicken is concerned before adding it to the slow cooker.

Christina March 19, 2014 at 9:33 am

When you say you load up two slow cookers, is this one recipe that you divide into two or do you double this? I’m wondering how many servings this equals. Thanks!

My Persian Kitchen March 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

Christina, I double the recipe. Generally, the two crockpots feed about 20-25 people since people take small servings since there is also Sabzi Polow, Fish, and Kuku Sabzi.

samane May 22, 2014 at 7:33 am

ريختن اسفناج درسته در آش برايم بسيار بسيار عجيب است!!!
عزيزم چرا اسفناج هاتو خورد نمي كني؟

vanessa May 23, 2014 at 9:30 am

Thank you for this recipe!!! My husband is Iranian, and well I made this soup not even knowing what it should taste or look like!!! He loved it!!! said it was better then the ones in the restaurants… THANK YOU!!! looking forward to trying more recipes!!!

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