Ash-e-mash: a thick and hearty mung bean soup with turnips & herbs

happy new year! it’s hard to believe the holidays are over, and we’ve already welcomed 2013 into our lives. i took a few vacation days away from home and the kitchen (surprisingly easy to do), and found myself thinking about all the food i had cooked (and eaten) in 2012-have you ever thought about how many meals you’ve made in a year? i certainly c-o-o-k-e-d a lot in the last 365 days (what i’d call a good/food year)! here’s to a new year of cooking, sharing, eating, and exploring good~food together
this ash-e-mash is the last meal (other than a simple spaghetti al limone) i cooked (a huge pot of) last year. it is the perfect hearty (and healthy: mung bean health benefitssoup-as-a-meal for the winter months (it’s even cold in san diego now)- – – – >let’s start cooking!
ingredient for 6-8 servings:
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs turmeric
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed turnips
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup dry mung beans
  • 1/4-1/2 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions (or about 10-12)
  • 2 large bunches fresh cilantro (roughly chopped)
  • 1.5 cups fresh (roughly chopped or whole baby ones) spinach
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
  • sea salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 4 cups (or more) good chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2-3 tbs vegetable oil (olive oil or virgin unrefined coconut oil)
  • 2 tsp dry mint

1. thinly slice the onion, then fry in the oil with the turmeric in a deep heavy pot or dutch oven. as the onions become golden (about 5 to 7 minutes on medium heat) add the minced garlic and fry for just another minute or two before adding the mung beans.
2. stir the mung beans into the onion mixture, fry for a minute or two, then add the rice and turnips with sea salt and pepper (to taste) and 1 cup of water, along with 3-4 cups of broth and bring to a boil. reduce the heat and allow the mung beans and rice to cook (slow simmer) for 35-45 minutes. add more water or broth if necessary.

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3. add sliced onions, cilantro, spinach, dill, and the remaining broth and mix well, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow the ash to simmer for another 30-40 minutes. taste and adjust for salt and pepper, add more broth if too thick (this is supposed to be a thick soup, and the rice almost melts into it by the time its ready).
4. for garnish quickly (1-2 minutes max) fry the dried mint in 1 tbs olive oil. the ash also tastes good with the addition of a few spoonfuls of yogurt or kashk (whey).

ash-e-mash with the addition of yogurt
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