Ash-e-jow (Iranian/Persian Barley Soup) Recipe -
Ash-e-jow (Iranian/Persian Barley Soup) Recipe

Ash-e-jow (Iranian/Persian Barley Soup)

Recipe by  

"I've seen a lot of recipes for this soup; however, my mother-in-law adds tomato paste for a bit of a different flavour and she doesn't add any lentils or beans. It's thick, filling, and delicious, and you could make it vegetarian by using vegetable stock."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    2 hrs

    2 hrs 10 mins


  1. Heat the chicken stock in a pot to a gentle simmer.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat and saute the onion until translucent. Add the pearl barley to the pot and stir for one minute. Stir in the hot chicken stock, turmeric, lime juice, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.
  3. Mix in the carrots and continue simmering 30 minutes or until the soup has thickened and the carrots and barley are tender. If the soup is too thick, add hot water, one tablespoon at a time.
  4. Place the sour cream in a small bowl. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot soup mixture into sour cream, whisking constantly. Gradually add the sour cream mixture into the soup pot, whisking constantly. Stir in the fresh parsley. Serve with fresh lime wedges.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Apr 09, 2007

My best friend is Persian, and I love the rich flavour of Persian food. This soup is great and full of flavour. I've always tried to make Persian food myself, but whenever I've tried it doesn't taste the same as my best friend's mom. This is the closest I've gotten so far! Excellent recipe and really easy. Update: I've since made this dish countless times and it is definitely Persian approved! I do things slightly differently though. When I saute the onions I add the tumeric. I definitely add more then a teaspoon of tumeric. I keep adding pinches until the onions are a bright yellow-orange. I also add saffron, which makes this dish more authentic. I take a few saffron stems and mix them with about a 1/2 teaspoon of hot water so it becomes a liquid, and I add it in the beginning to the onions. I also add the finely diced carrots when I add the barley, because I find it takes a while for the carrots to cook in this recipe. Fresh parsley is also a must, and I probablly add at least a cup of it finely chopped. And finally this recipe makes the barley into a thick stew, and it isn't really like a soup texture. If you want to to be soupy add more broth and decrease the barley.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 25, 2011

I decided to substitute the sour cream for plain yogurt and I did not like the result. The soup was way too sour and seemed to be missing something. Don't think I'll make it again, even with sour cream.


78 Ratings

Mar 13, 2008

I never do these online review things, but I had to say how much I loved this soup! The ingredients are so simple, but somehow it's more than the some of its parts--it has a rich, subtle, slightly elusive taste that even my 8-year-old loved. The only changes that I made were to add some saffron (a good pinch) to the broth while it was heating, and I added chopped fresh dill at the end along with the parsley. And the sour cream works great, but you can also substitute creme fraiche--and in that case, it doesn't need to be tempered when you add it to the soup, you can just stir it in; it won't separate. I'm so glad to have this as part of my "repertoire"! I plan on making it a LOT.

Dec 29, 2008

Added cubed chicken. I recommend using yogurt instead of sour cream. I doubled the amount of yogurt as I like my soup a little sour. Great recipe.

Aug 14, 2014

EDIT August 2014: I made this again, didn't do anything differently, but liked it much better the second time. Glad I gave it a second chance! :) I wanted to like this... It had been in my recipe for ages before I actually got around to making it. I made it for an Iranian friend, and although we both liked it enough to eat it, it is unfortunately not something that I would make again. The taste was okay, I followed the recipe exactly. In terms of texture, a bit thick, but thinning it out would not have improved it much. I guess it was just kind of monotonous to eat, spoonful after spoonful. Lacked something essential, but I am nevertheless glad that I finally made it. Oh well!

Jul 25, 2008

This was delicious! I don't know why I'm surprised - Persian food is always great - but wow! I would absolutely make this again! And it's perfect for a summer dinner.

Aug 09, 2008

I am a soup fanatic and I am always looking for different soups to add to my repertoire. The only change I made to this soup was using cilantro instead of parsley (I had that on hand). It was very delicious!!! I will make this again.

Feb 02, 2009

I don't know much about Persian cuisine but this soup was very good! Sour, creamy, hearty... I'm glad I made a huge pot for myself because I keep getting back for leftovers! Will make again very soon.


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  • Calories
  • 193 kcal
  • 10%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 28.3 g
  • 9%
  • Cholesterol
  • 9 mg
  • 3%
  • Fat
  • 7.2 g
  • 11%
  • Fiber
  • 4.3 g
  • 17%
  • Protein
  • 5.5 g
  • 11%
  • Sodium
  • 178 mg
  • 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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