Filled with nutrient ingredients and great flavors, this Persian Eggplant Soup – Ash-e Bademjan is a delicious choice for cold days. This vegetarian and gluten free soup is super tasty!
Nothing beats a big bowl of Persian Ash during winter. This eggplant soup is one I can have everyday in the winter months!
The time has come for us to shift the focus of Unicorns in the Kitchen over to Persian recipes and we are here to answer all your questions about Persian food and bring this delicious cuisine into each and every household that’s ready to experience a new world of flavors. Persian cuisine is based on family, gatherings and sharing food. Recipes usually yield more than 4 servings and are always packed with amazing flavors. Persian recipes are usually healthy and easy to make. Some might need more time to cook but usually there are a few uncomplicated steps to make a delicious Persian meal.
This Persian Eggplant Soup is a great start to see how easy to make Persian food is. I’ve explained everything about ash and its ingredients here. It’s a healthy vegetarian recipe that happens to be gluten free, too. And it’s perfect for a lazy, cold day! We have a lot of those this year here in Boston, so ash is a must-make for our family!
What is Ash in Persian cuisine?
Ash (آش) is a category in Persian / Iranian cuisine. It’s a thick soup and is usually served hot. There are over 50 different types of ash in Persian cuisine .There are different spellings for ash such as āsh, aush, or aash. Ash is one of the oldest Persian recipes that is made in different parts of Iran with different ingredients in a large pot and is usually cooked for over an hour. Ash is always thick and usually contains at least one type of legume such as chickpeas and lentils. Herbs such as parsley, spinach, mint and cilantro are used in most ash recipes including this eggplant soup.
Ash can be made with or without meat. Some ash recipes call for meatballs which can be left out if you prefer a vegetarian version of the recipe. Ash is usually topped with kashk (کشک) which is fermented yogurt and you can find it in Middle Eastern/Turkish/Iranian shops or here. Kashk adds a nice salty and tangy flavor to ash.
How to make Eggplant Soup – Ash-e Bademjan?
Making this eggplant soup is very easy and has simple steps. First, you need to prepare the eggplants. I usually peel the eggplants but because we’re going to cook the eggplants for some time, if the skin is on, it’s still going to be delicious. Cut the eggplants into chunks and sprinkle with salt, once they start sweating and release water, dry them using a kitchen towel and set aside. Like many other Iranian dishes, this recipe starts with sauteing the onion and garlic. Then add the ingredients one after another and cook for almost an hour until the lentils and eggplants are fully cooked. If you have some spinach or parsley, you can add it to Ash now. It’s optional, however, I love adding some greens to this dish. At the end, add in kashk and cook for another 10 minutes. Then enjoy a large bowl of it, or two!
Wait, what’s that glaze on the Ash?
Great question! This is how Ash is served on an Iranian table. This dark green glaze is sauteed dried mint and there is also kashk. What you see in the middle is caramelized onion. It’s my favorite topping!
Persian cuisine is all about the details. This simple mint, kashk and caramelized onion topping gives so much more flavor to this dish that I simply cannot imagine having ash without these! Ash is usually served in a large bowl with the toppings and to serve, it’s stirred with a ladle and then divided in serving bowls.
Looking for more delicious Persian recipes?
- Persian One Pot Tomato Rice – Dami Gojeh Farangi
- Persian Sausage and Potato Skillet – Sosis Bandari
- Kabab Tabei – Persian Pan Kebab
- Persian Cold Yogurt Soup – Abdoogh Khiar
- Persian Style Rice with Golden Crispy Crust
Persian Eggplant Soup - Ash-e Bademjan
- 4 Chinese Eggplants Peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- 2 tbsp Vegetable or Olive Oil
- 1 Large White Onion Diced
- 4 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 can Chickpeas Drained
- 3/4 cup Green Lentils
- 4-6 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Kashk - Yogurt Whey
- 3 tbsp Vegetable or Olive Oil Divided
- 1 Onion Thinly Sliced
- 2 tbsp Dried Mint
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 cup Kashk- Yogurt Whey
Sprinkle salt over the eggplant chunks and place them in a colander. Place the colander on a large bowl and let the eggplants sit for 20 minutes until they start releasing water. Place the eggplants on a kitchen towel and dry them with another kitchen towel. Set aside.
Place a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Pour vegetable or olive oil into the pot and heat.
Saute onion until golden. Add in garlic and saute for a minute.
Add in the eggplants and turmeric. Saute for 5 minutes.
Add in the lentils and stir.
Add in water and turn the heat to high. Bring the Soup to boil.
Turn the heat to medium low. Add in chickpeas and cook until the eggplants and lentils are fully cooked.
Stir in Kashk (Yogurt Whey). Cook for 10 more minutes.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, saute onion on medium low until soft and golden brown. Transfer them to a plate. Set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in the same pan. Once hot, add in dried mint and turmeric. Stir and cook for two minutes. Turn the heat off.
Pour the eggplant soup into bowls. Top with more Kashk (Yogurt Whey), sauteed dried mint and caramelized onion.
- You can add a bag (1 lb) of chopped spinach to this recipe. It's optional, but makes it more delicious.
- If using dry chickpeas, soak them in water over night and add them with the lentils. Cooking time may increase.
- You can find Kashk (Yogurt Whey) and dried mint in Persian, Turkish or Middle Eastern Shops.