Ash-e Jow (Persian Barley Soup) Recipe

I was all kinds of motivated this weekend and made a new kind of soup.  I did use the lamb called for in the recipe, mostly because I still have most of the lamb I bought last december in my freezer and need to find new ways to use it.  This has really gotten me to try different ethnic food simply because I didn’t grow up with lamb and don’t just want to eat the chops and leave the rest because I don’t know what to do with it.  It’s pretty awesome.  This soup was made in the slow cooker instead of on the stove top.  It’s hearty, but light at the same time.  It doesn’t have much for seasoning or spices, which really allows you to taste the ingredients.  It’s really, really good.  You can leave out the lamb completely for a completely vegan soup, or you can substitute chicken, beef or pork instead of the lamb. 

Ash-e Jow

2-3 tbsp olive oil

1 lamb shank (I used a half leg roast, bone in)

2 onions, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 tsp turmeric

3 quarts stock or water

1 – 15oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 – 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/2 mixed lentils (can use any lentils you want)

1 cup pot or pearl barley

1 lb spinach (fresh or frozen)

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I forgot this…oops)

1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, brown the lamb shank on all sides.  Put lamb in slow cooker.  Add onions, carrots and turmeric to the skillet, cook till onions are soft (5-7 minutes) and put into the slow cooker.  Add water, let cook on high for up to 3 hours. (my slow cooker cooks very hot)

2. Add the beans and lentils, simmer another 30-45 minutes.  Add the barley and simmer about another 30 minutes.  Take out the lamb shank, remove the meat from the bone and dice.  Add lamb back into the soup along with the spinach and salt/pepper.  Cook till spinach is wilted, stir in sour cream or yogurt (optional) and server. 

Variations:

substitute half the barley for brown rice

change up the types of beans

use pork, beef or chicken instead of lamb (bone in if possible, makes a better stock)

I forgot to add the sour cream, might have been better with it, I’ll have to try adding some to the next bowl I have.   This recipe filled my 6.5 quart slow cooker and gave me 3 quart jars, 4 pint jars and a large ziplock square container of soup.  Unfortunately one of the quart jars and 2 pint jars didn’t seal properly and I will need to throw them out.

Recipe adapted from here.