This is a delicious, and very healthy, Iranian soup of beans, barley, rice, and herbs (ash means soup; joe means barley or grain). It takes awhile to cook, but mostly you just leave it on the stove.
½ cup garbanzo beans
½ cup red kidney beans
½ cup lentils
½ cup barley
¼ cup rice
1.5 lb mixed herbs (spinach, parsley, cilantro, chives, dill)
2 cups plain yogurt (or kashk if you can find it)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp dried mint
Soak all beans together overnight. Preferably, boil them for a couple minutes, leave them in that water overnight, and then discard the water before cooking. This will soften them up for cooking and should remove some of beans’ “antisocial side effects.” Soak the barley separately overnight. Cook beans with enough water to cover them for one hour over low heat. Skim off as much foam as you can. Add barley and rice, cook 30 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Chop the herbs and add them. Add more hot water if necessary, but the soup should not be too watery. Simmer 2-3 hours more, until all the beans are tender. Stir in yogurt (keeping a bit for garnish if you want), and season with salt, pepper, and mint.
Optional, and good if you want a nice presentation (this soup isn’t too attractive; it’s grey!): Transfer soup to serving dish and garnish with a bit of yogurt. Thinly slice 2-3 onions, fry them until golden, and color with 1 ts turmeric. If you include this step, add the 1 tbsp mint to the onions instead of directly into the soup. Garnish soup with these onions.
Speaking of Persian stuff, does anyone know where I can listen to recitations of Rumi’s poetry online in Farsi? Or any other classical (such as Saadi) or modern Persian poet (such as Forough Farrokhzad), for that matter. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard Persian poetry recited and I really miss it. I know YouTube must have some stuff, but it takes awhile to load the videos here, so I’d rather find some clips somewhere with only audio.