- Preeti Shridhar
Aush, sometimes spelled Ash is a hearty noodle soup with chickpeas, kidney beans and ground meat. I am sharing a vegetarian take on this Afghani soup. It's also part of Iranian, Azerbaijani, Caucasian and Turkish cuisine.
What's special about Aush is, that it brings together your everyday ingredients in an unusual way.
Practically ,every home in Afghanistan has their own recipe of Aush .What is common in all the recipes, is flat wheat noodles. Since I didn't have access to flat wheat noodles, I have used spaghetti. It is made rich with yogurt and warm spices...perfect meal for a cold wintery night. .
The soup tastes better the next day. So make extra quantity or atleast make it in the morning to serve at night.
Since noodles tend to absorb water, you may have to add water to loosen it up. Heat on low heat, so as not to burn it.
You can use vegetables like carrot, beans , cauliflower and corn
Vegans can skip adding yogurt.
Tomatoes 2 large
Onion 1 medium
Coriander Stems 6-7
Garlic 2 large cloves
Jalapeno 1 deseeded
Celery 1 stick
Oil 2 tbsp
Tomato puree 2 cubes
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Black Pepper Powder 1/4 tsp
Paprika Powder 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
Mint Powder 1 tsp
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Sumac 1 tsp (optional)
Mixed Vegetables 2 cups
Boiled Chickpeas 1 cup
Boiled Kidney Beans 1/2 cup
Baby Spinach 1 cup
Lemon Juice to taste
Water 4-5 cups
Yogurt As per taste
Roughly chop all the ingredients mentioned under paste and pulse them in a food processor to get a coarse paste.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan and add this paste.
Rinse the food processor and keep the water aside.
Saute the paste for a couple of minutes.
Add in tomato puree and let it cook for 1-3 minutes.
Now add turmeric powder, salt, pepper powder, paprika powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, mint and sumac(if using).
Give it a good mix and cook for a minute.
Now tip in all the vegetables, spinach, chickpea and kidney beans.
Toss them and saute for a minute.
Add two cups of water and let the soup come to a boil.
Now break spaghetti into 2" pieces and add to the soup .
Add another two cups of water( also use the water used to rinse the food processor). You can also replace some of the water with whey, if it's available .
Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
Taste and adjust, salt and pepper.
Add lemon juice to taste.
Check the consistency of the soup. Add more water if required.
I like to keep the soup thick.
Serve it in individual bowls topped with a generous dollop of thick yogurt and garnish it with chopped coriander.