Barley soup (Ashe jo)

This will serve 6 as main course or 8-10 as starter

  • 200 grams stewing beef (optional)
  • 2 large onion sliced
  • 3/4 cup dried beans (lentils, red kidney beans and chick pea)
  • Tip: If you chose to use chick pea, soak it overnight
  • 1 cup barley
  • 300 grams chopped fresh herbs (Parsley, cilantro, green onion and dill)
  • 200 grams chopped spinach
  • 1/4 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup kashk or sour cream

For the topping

  • Kashk or sour cream
  • Fried dried mint
  • Saffron water

If you’re using beef, brown the meat and the onions in 2 tbsp of oil for about 10-15 minutes, the more color you get on the meat, the better your soup will taste.
If you are not using the meat, saute the onion and add 1 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper and saute for 1 minute.
Add the beans and saute for 2 minutes.
Add 4 cups of water, cover, bring to a boil and simmer for about 40 minuets.

Add the barley cook for 50 minutes, covered.

Add the herbs, rice and 2 more cups of boiling water, bring the soup back to the boil, cover and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Add the kashk or sour cream stir for 5 minutes.Add boiling water if the soup is too thick, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

To serve, heat 2 tbsp oil in a nonstick pan, when hot remove from heat and add 1 tbsp dried mint.
Pour the soup in a serving bowl and decorate with sour cream, dried mint mixture and saffron water.

Tip:¬†You can use your pressure cooker to cook the beans, but I wouldn’t recommend it for the barley.