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It’s been rather cold everywhere around the glob these past couple of months. It is during this time of the year that I make lots of soups. Some are on the light side, but others, like Persian Ash, are a bit more on the hearty side. To me Asheh Jo is all about comfort food. I absolutely love how the combination of legumes and herbs come together. I have to say that compered to other ash this one seemed to be pretty low maintenance.

Ingredients

1 lb stewing meat
1 large onion
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup white beans
1/2 cup lentils
1 cup parsley, packed
1 cup cilantro, packed
1 cup dill, packed
1 cup chives, chopped
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup rice
1 1/2 cups barley

The first thing to do for this recipe is soak the chickpeas and white beans over night. If you forget to do this step, then you can do a quick soak according to How to Quick Soak Beans post.

Small dice onion and saute in some oil until translucent. Add turmeric and stir. Season the pieces of meat with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Brown every side of the meat.

Add soaked beans and lentils to the pot. Add 10 cups of water, cover and bring to a boil. Lower temperature and cook for one hour.

Add washed rice and barley to the pot and continue cooking covered for half hour longer.

In the mean time prep fresh herbs.  By cleaning, washing, and rough chopping the parsley, cilantro, and dill.

Season the soup with salt and pepper. Add fresh herbs and spinach. Continue cooking for another hour uncovered on the lowest heat setting. Taste beans to make sure that they are cooked. If they are not then cook them longer. Add 1/2 cup of water at the time if necessary. The idea here is to allow for this soup to thicken. Therefore, you will need to keep an eye on it and stir it about every half hour or so since the bottom can easily burn.

Once the soup is ready, remove the pieces of meat from the pot and place them in a blender or mash them by hand.

If using a blender pulse a few times until the meat is shredded.  Then add back to the soup.

Serve Asheh Jo in bowls topped with kashk (or sour cream or even yogurt). If you desire fry some sliced onion and garlic and when they are nice and crispy add a little dried mint. Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of the mixture on top of the soup.

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