Soups and stews are the bread and butter of winter…wait a minute…does that make sense? Okay, so maybe it doesn’t. I think you get what I’m saying.
Anyways, I love trying different types of soups. And given my Persian background, naturally I love making ash. No, not ‘ash’ like an ash tray. But more like ‘wash’ without the W.
What is Persian Ash?
Ash isn’t exactly one particular food, but rather a cluster of very thick soups that are almost crosses between soups and stews. There are many types of ash, like asheh reshteh, asheh jow (my personal favorite), and even asheh anar, which is actually made from pomegranates.
Usually ash involves lots of fresh herbs, veggies, and legumes. Anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric are always a must. In other words, these thick soups are basically giant bowls of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Compared to a condensed or canned soup you might feel inclined to buy, homemade ash has far more nutrients in it and is much better for you!
About Asheh Gojeh Farangi
Asheh gojeh farangi literally means “soup of tomatoes.” In a way, you could argue it’s a hybrid of a tomato soup and an Italian wedding soup. I personally love making it because it’s easy and usually encompasses many ingredients I always have on hand (ground meat, fresh herbs, and tomato products).
A few notes about my variation of this recipe. Because I personally don’t like legumes and have an intolerance to them, I didn’t include them in this recipe. You are welcome to include them if you’d like, however. Simply add 1/2 cup of yellow split peas in 2 cups of water before you add any of the other ingredients and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes before adding the meatballs and other ingredients.
Another ingredient to keep in mind is that instead of using ground beef for the meatballs, I opted for lean ground turkey. This is a much healthier and leaner choice with far less saturated fat than ground beef. If you’re not a fan of ground turkey, don’t stress about! Start mixing a little ground turkey into your beef mixture every time you make this dish. Gradually add more and more turkey until all you’re using is ground turkey. Pretty soon, you’ll be using ground turkey instead of beef in all your dishes!
If you’re interested in other Persian dishes I’ve made, try any (or all!) of the following healthy recipes:
- Gormeh Sabzi (Persian Herbed Stew with Kidney Beans)
- Kuku Sabzi (Herbed Egg Frittata)
- Salad Olivieh (Persian Chicken Salad)
- Maast-o Khiyar (Persian Yogurt Sauce)
- Asheh Mast (Chilled Yogurt and Cucumber Soup)
- Zereshk Polo (Saffron Chicken with Barberry Rice)