Persian Spiced Lentil and Herb Soup with spinach and noodles

4 Feb

I love this weather we’re having here at the moment. It’s cold but sunny. Clear blue skies and you can see the snow on the mountains in the distance. It’s great for walking because you don’t get too hot and the views are spectacular…

You’ve got the snow on the Sierra de las Nieves on one side and the view down to the sea on the other…….

 And a lot of fragrant pines in between…

When I get back from walking I want something hearty, healthy and delicious for lunch. I have been meaning to try this soup for a while, it has all my favourite things in one dish. Lentils, Middle Eastern spices and loads of fresh herbs and greens. I’ve reworked a Persian recipe I found for Aashe Reshteh. Aashe (soup) Reshteh (noodle) is made with Sabzi (fresh greens) which can include parsley, coriander, mint, spinach, spring onions, dill and whatever else green you have. I used lentils and kidney beans but you could use chickpeas, white beans or whatever you have. The original recipe I found cooked this for 3-4 hours, I have no idea why it was ready as soon as the pasta was cooked. It took about half an hour in total and the greens are still fresh and delicious…

Persian Lentil & Herb Soup with Spinach & Noodles

serves 4 vegetarian

  • 175 gr (1 cup) brown lentils (uncooked)
  • 1-1 1/2 litres veg stock 
  • 200 gr cooked kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 leek, rinsed & sliced
  •  2 stalks celery & leaves chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped or 1 garlic shoot
  • 1/2 head cabbage, cored & shredded
  • a big pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sumac (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp  Ras al Hanout (a Middle eastern spice mix)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • a bag of spinach (300 gr) I used frozen chopped spinach which comes in portions I used about 6 squares.
  • a big handful of parsley, chopped
  • a big handful coriander chopped
  • 2 or 3 spring onions, chopped
  • salt & black pepper
  • 100 gr dried noodles (I used wholemeal spaghetti broken but you can use fine vermicelli, like you would for a minestrone)
  • 4 tsp greek yoghurt or sour cream

In a small pan cook the lentils in 600 ml (3 cups) liquid (I used 400 veg stock 200 water). Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile heat some olive oil in a big pot over a medium heat. Cook the onions, leeks & celery for about 8 minutes until they start to soften then add the garlic and cook for another minute. If it gets dry at any time add a splash of veg stock. Add in the spices and dried herbs then pour in the lentils and their cooking liquid. It doesn’t matter if the lentils aren’t cooked they will carry on cooking in the soup. Add in about a litre of stock, the cabbage, frozen spinach(if you are using fresh leave it till later) and the cooked beans. Bring to the boil add in the broken pasta/ noodles, lower the heat and simmer until the pasta is cooked (about 10 -15 minutes). About 5 minutes before you want to serve the soup add in the fresh spinach & half of the fresh herbs and spring onions.

Ladle the hot soup into warmed bowls and garnish with a dollop of Greek yoghurt/sour cream and the rest of the chopped fresh herbs and spring onions…..

I served this delicious soup with some Halloumi Cheese & Garlic Pull- Apart Bread (which tastes as amazing as it sounds) and I will be posting the recipe tomorrow……… Hasta Manana!!



17 Responses to “Persian Spiced Lentil and Herb Soup with spinach and noodles”

  1. happywhennothungry February 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    This meal looks so comforting and delicious! I love your photos too.. beautiful!

  2. Roxan February 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm #

    What a beautiful place to take a walk. Can I ask what city you live in? This soup would be perfect after a walk like that.
    And that bread looks delicious! I can’t wait to see the recipe for that.

    • foodblogandthedog February 4, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

      I live about 1/2 hour inland from Malaga in a town called Alhaurin el Grande, we’ve got the best of both worlds here. The coast is only 1/2 hour away if you want to go to the beach or people watch!!

  3. Visda February 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Great job on Asheh reshteh. As a Persian this is one of my favorite soups in winter. The reason that the recipe calls for longer cooking time is that Persians like the beans less crunchy and also as much as I remember because of higher elevation in Iran, beans cook slower. I would also recommend you to try Kashk with saffron to add more flavor to it. Enjoy!

    • foodblogandthedog February 4, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

      I will try adding saffron to the yoghurt next time it sounds delicious, thanks for the tips!!

  4. Brindusa@Cooking with my soul February 4, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    Hello. Thanks for commenting on my blog.
    Your soup looks very tasty. And everything that you put inside works for me. Can I have some, please???? :))))

  5. Mateja February 5, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    What a coincidence! Today I cooked split lentil soup with crunched pita wedges. Your soup looks delicious! Can’t wait to tomorrow to check out the pull-apart bread!!! Hasta Manana indeed 🙂

  6. tiffany February 5, 2011 at 3:03 am #

    Mmmmm! You had me at lentils, kidney beans, and dried mint! I can’t wait to see the recipe for the pull apart bread (which looks amazing by the way!)

  7. Tammy McLeod February 6, 2011 at 3:35 am #

    That is beautiful! There’s nothing that I don’t love about it. I don’t have Ras al Hanout so is there anything that I can use to substitute?

    • foodblogandthedog February 6, 2011 at 10:46 am #

      I’ve just checked the packet and it includes coriander, chilli, allspice,nutmeg, cloves, ginger, pepper, paprika, cardamom, cumin & turmeric!! So maybe a pinch of those if you have -if not just add a bit more of the other spices. Enjoy!!

  8. Medeja February 6, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    I guess cold but sunny isnt that bad, at least you dont get depressed because of lack of sun 🙂
    Soup looks really thick and filling, so many ingredients 🙂

  9. denise @ bread expectations February 7, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Lovely soup Natalie! Lentils and spinach were made for each other 🙂 It’s cool but sunny over here too right now – wish it could stay this way all year round!

    Lovely photos btw…and I need to check out the halloumi pull apart bread recipe!

  10. tony ward February 7, 2011 at 4:21 pm #

    this one looks amazing….can’t you write it in book form (hint publishers) ‘cos by the time the winter comes
    around I’ll have lost it to cyber space or some such planet !! xx

  11. Ami February 15, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    your posts are so yummy, i’m definitely gonna try this recipe. looks like a wholesome meal. also ur so lucky to live in such a lovely country….Wow God bless u’ll

  12. walkablefeast March 24, 2011 at 3:03 am #


  13. Maggie Farquhar December 5, 2012 at 5:28 am #

    The garlic pull looks Delicious! And a Nice blog too!

    If you don’t mind me asking..How did you get it to ‘snow’ virtually? LOL is it a setting in the theme? Or what?

    • Natalie Ward December 5, 2012 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks for visiting! The snow is a wordpress plugin. If you are on wordpress it is in settings> General then tick the “I want snow” box at the bottom!

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