beans & greens soup with salted yogurt & sizzled mint

This soup is inspired by ash reshteh, a thick Iranian soup made with chickpeas, a boatload of herbs, and noodles, with one big exception: We omitted the noodles. If you don’t have time to soak the chickpeas and beans overnight, bring them to a boil in separate pots of water, then turn off the heat, cover the pots, and let them sit for 1 hour before proceeding.

lightly adapted from Bon Appétit.

ingredients

FOR THE SOUP

  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ½ cup cranberry or navy beans, soaked overnight, drained
  • ½ cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ cup green lentils, rinsed
  • 5 ounces baby spinach (about 7 cups), chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt; freshly ground pepper

FOR ASSEMBLY

  • 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, very thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup plain unsweetened plant-based yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened plant-based milk of choice
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons dried ground mint

method

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and soft, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic, cranberry beans, chickpeas, and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add 8 cups cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are halfway cooked (they should still be very al dente), 25–35 minutes. Add lentils and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are creamy but still hold their shape, and lentils are tender, 25–35 minutes (the soup may look a bit thick, but don’t fret; the greens will release liquid when they’re added, thinning the soup out a bit).
  2. Meanwhile, heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until golden, 6–8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are slightly charred and crisp, 14–16 minutes; season with salt. Transfer onions to a plate; cover with foil to keep warm.
  3. Make the yogurt sauce. Mix yogurt, lemon juice, and milk in a small bowl; season with salt. (The mixture should have the consistency of heavy cream.)
  4. Wipe out skillet and heat remaining 3 Tbsp. oil over medium. Add mint and cook, stirring often, until mint oil is fragrant and slightly darkened, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl or measuring cup.
  5. When the lentils are tender, add spinach, cilantro, parsley, and dill and cook until greens are just wilted and have slightly darkened, 4–6 minutes. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Divide soup among bowls and pour yogurt mixture over soup. Drizzle mint oil over soup, then top with fried onions.

makes 4 large bowls.

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