Persian noodle soup
This is my take on Persian noodle soup, expertly guided by my dear friend, Mersedeh. It’s a deeply savoury soup with spice, lentils and some pasta thrown in for good measure. This is a great way to use up the ends of bags of pasta you have hanging around. I have suggested a noodle pasta but really any pasta bashed up a bit will do.
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 green chilli, finely chopped(de-seeded if you like)
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g tin green or Puy lentils, drained and rinsed
1.25 litres vegetable stock
200g spinach, washed, chopped
80g linguine/spaghetti, broken into 3cm sticks
a small bunch of parsley, chopped
a small bunch of coriander, chopped
a small bunch of dill, chopped
the juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
FOR THE TOPPING
50g toasted pine nuts
1 green chilli, finely chopped (de-seeded if you like)
the zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
3 tablespoons extra virgin
a handful of herbs
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes until they’re very soft, golden, and fragrant. Add the spices, garlic and chilli, and cook for another 2- 3 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant but not browning.
Add the cannellini beans and lentils, along with a litre of the stock and a good pinch of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, then cook for 15 minutes until everything has come together.
If you are not eating all of the soup now, put those portions aside before adding the spinach, pasta and herbs. Add the rest of the stock to the pot with the spinach and pasta. Simmer until the linguine is tender but slightly al dente. This should take about 8–10 minutes.
In a small bowl mix the pine nuts and chopped chilli with the lemon zest and olive oil to make the topping.
Add the herbs to the soup and leave to simmer for a minute before tasting and adjusting the seasonings. Stir in the lemon juice.
Spoon into bowls and top with the pine nuts, chilli mixture and more herbs, if you like.