Ash e Jo (Iranian herb and barley soup)
A delicious, herbaceous, comforting, cozy soup of your dreams.
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup dried chickpeas, lentils, pinto beans
2 large onions
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped dill
1/2 cup chopped parsley
5 cups of beef or veggie broth
1/4 cup kashk plus more for topping
2 tbsp dried mint powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
Salt to taste
For Ashe jo, we cook most things separately and they come together for the last 30-45 minutes of cook time.
You can customize how much of each legume you want. Soak them from the night before. Boil them until they are all fully cooked. Technically you are supposed to soak and cook them separately but I am lazy and I soaked and cooked them together with no problem.
Piaz dagh (friend onions):
Thinly slice the onions and fry in oil on medium heat until caramelized. Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir occasionally until crispy. This could take up to 90 minutes.
Cook the barley according to package instructions in the broth. The barley should be covered with broth for about 3-4 inches because it will absorb all of it. Mine took about 45 minutes to fully cook.
Nana dagh (fried mint):
In a small pan, add oil and the dried mint powder. Place on low heat and stir until fragrant. This burns very quickly and only takes a couple of minutes. So be careful!
Sir dagh (fried garlic):
Add minced garlic into a non-hot pan and cover with oil. Place on medium-low heat and let them become golden. Remove quickly and strain. This also burns quickly!
In a pot, add the barley and stock, the cooked legumes, chopped herbs, and spices. Do not add salt yet. Add additional water or stock until everything is covered for about 1 inch. Cover the pot and let simmer on medium-low for about 30-45 minutes stirring occasionally. Add in the kashk and half of the fried onions, stir, and let simmer for another 10-15 mins.
Pour into bowls, top with more kashk. Add on the piaz dagh, nana dagh, and sir dagh.
Nooshe jaan! Enjoy!