Recipe by Autumn Leaves
"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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uncooked pearl barley
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
chopped fresh parsley
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Ash-e-jow (Iranian/Persian Barley Soup)
Serving Size: 1/8 of a recipe
Servings Per Recipe: 8
Amount Per Serving
** Calories: 193
** Calories from Fat: 65
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