To say that aash is merely a soup would be underselling it – this hearty staple of Persian cuisine is much more than that. Always herb-based, there are many varieties: some with meat, some without, some with barley, rice, tomato or pomegranate molasses… all equally delicious. Aash is the best comfort food on a cold day, and virtuous enough to be the perfect meal all year round. This is my Western version, but it is still every bit as delicious.
- olive oil (for frying)
- 2 large white onions (finely chopped)
- 100 grams flatleaf parsley (finely chopped)
- 100 grams fresh coriander (finely chopped)
- 5 large cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 3 teaspoons unsweetened tamarind paste
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 3 tablespoons tomato puree
- 75 grams butter
- 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 litre cold water
- 100 grams basmati rice
- 100 grams uncooked puy lentils
- Maldon salt flakes
- freshly ground black pepper
- about 30 grams of fresh dill (finely chopped)
- 1 bunch of spring onions (thinly sliced)
Rice and Vegetable Aash with Puy Lentils is a guest recipe by Sabrina Ghayour so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe
- Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Pour in enough olive oil to coat the base of the pan. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until softened and translucent, without browning.
- Add the fresh herbs and cook them down for a few minutes until they are completely wilted and resemble cooked spinach. Stir in the garlic and cook for a few more minutes until soft and translucent without browning.
- Mix the tamarind, paprika, tomato puree and butter into the pan, stir everything together well, then add the flour and mix well. Fry for a few minutes, then pour in the stock and the cold water, and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
- Bring the contents of the saucepan to a rolling boil, then stir in the rice and puy lentils. Reduce the heat and simmer, without a lid, for 25–30 minutes, or until the rice and lentils are cooked. If the soup seems too thick, add boiling water (up to 300ml), a little at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired, then serve immediately (it will continue to absorb more liquid if left to sit), with the dill and sliced spring onions scattered on top.