Some of you know that Ottolenghi: The Cookbook is my favorite cookbook. Written by an Israeli and a Palestinian who own/run a restaurant (now restaurants and I think now owned/run by only one of them) called Ottolenghi in London, it’s full of recipes that combine everyday ingredients like legumes, rice and onions with exciting ingredients like za’atar, sumac and pomegranate. It’s my go-to source when I’m craving Middle Eastern.
In addition to a new vegetarian cookbook, which, oddly, I do not yet own, Ottolenghi also has a column in the Guardian called The new vegetarian. I finally got around to checking it out and found one recipe that I just had to try. Ash-e reshteh. It’s an Iranian soup made with legumes, onions, spinach, herbs, sour cream and Iranian noodles called reshteh. The idea of noodles in my bean soup sounded extra filling and not really all that appealing, so I decided just to leave them out. I know that kind of defeats the purpose, but I eat enough noodles already. Maybe it would be worth adding them if you could find them, although the recipe says you can use linguine if you can’t.
The result was good and very satisfying, if a little blander than I expected. We’ll see what it tastes like tomorrow. Like every Ottolenghi recipe I have tried, it was easy but took a long time. Longer than I expected after reading the directions. But also like every Ottolenghi recipe I have tried, it makes a huge batch. I reserved about a third of the soup to freeze before adding the sour cream to the rest. I also used chard instead of spinach because that’s what I had, and next time I might save some of the herbs to add at the very end.
Update: The noodles are not so hard to find after all if you have a friendly falafel shop/Middle Eastern grocery.